Jos Buttler: England fully focused on making history in World Cup Final
"It's important to focus on the here and now. What has gone on in the last four years counts for nothing."
By Jos Buttler - @josbuttler
Last Updated: 14/07/19 10:26am
Jos Buttler says England are ready for the challenge of a first World Cup final in 27 years, adding that he has learned to accept the nerves and excitement that surrounds such an occasion…
There is no tomorrow after the final. All of our energy is fully focused on Sunday at Lord's.
It's nice to allow yourself to think about the game, imagine some of the emotions you'll go through and the things that could happen; it's also good to remind yourself of the things you do well and what your job is. But I'm not daring to dream about winning it just yet.
We're not taking New Zealand lightly. They got to the last World Cup final, they're a fantastic team and are brilliantly led by a very calm Kane Williamson, who has had a fine tournament.
It's funny how things have come full circle, as New Zealand have played such a part in our white-ball turnaround over the past four years, but that's for the media, fans and our friends to think about.
As a player, it's important to focus on the here and now. What has gone on in the last four years counts for nothing.
We played really well in the semi-final against Australia and everyone was so delighted with the performance we put in, but it's a quick turnaround and we want to go all the way. Our focus turned relatively quickly to Sunday.
We know we'll have to play better again, raise our intensity again and that's a challenge we're all looking forward to.
But you wouldn't be human if you weren't a bit nervous, or excited, or anxious. Naturally you're going to have those feelings; you have to just accept your emotions.
There's no point trying to suppress them, because they're going to come out. But, now, being 28 years old, I've had lots of different experiences in my career - of course, a 50-over World Cup final is not one of those - but there are things you can draw on.
When I have been nervous before, or too excited, what did I do to bring myself back? As cliched as it sounds, it's about going through your process and controlling the things you can control. There are so many other variables, so you try not to waste energy on those things.
The good news is, we're coming into the final on the back of a complete performance against Australia.
We've talked all through the tournament about 'setting the tone'. The opening bowlers and batsmen did exactly that at Edgbaston. Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes were just fantastic first up - Jofra bang on the money, getting a wicket with his first ball!
He's an incredible natural talent. As with most great sportsman, he makes things look easy - just like Usain Bolt does when he sprints or Roger Federer does when he plays tennis.
Don't get me wrong, he works incredibly hard on his skills, but he seems to have just a very natural talent for bowling fast and he also has great confidence in himself. Someone shows him the knuckle ball, and the next game he can just go out and do it.
As a batsman, when you know a guy can hit you in the head, you're pretty reluctant to think about any other ball. He is very smart with how he uses his variations.
As for Woakesy, there's no thrills or spills with him, he just gets the job done - always hitting a good length, always challenging both edges of the bat. Because he does that with such minimal fuss, he can sometimes fly under the radar, but not in our dressing room. He's one of our best players and is such a popular guy within the group.
He and Jofra are complementing each other really well. I hope they take that into Sunday. It's the same with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, who are in the form of their lives with the bat.
Naturally, you're a bit nervous when the boys first go out to bat, but I needn't have been on Thursday. It's a great sign when you bat in the middle order and you're not required.
Jonny hit his first ball for four and Jason got away a couple of cover drives in the second over, and it just makes you feel very calm in the dressing room.
While I didn't contribute with the bat, it was pleasing at least to affect a run out, a real 'one in a million' dismissal of Steve Smith, throwing it through his legs to hit the stumps.
It was just unbelievable luck! Once I threw it, I thought it was going to hit him, but just the way the angle worked, it managed to miraculously nutmeg him.
Creating a wicket out of nothing in the field is something we talk about a lot. The partnership he had going with Mitchell Starc at the time was quite good, so to get that wicket to peg them back again and quickly bowl them out soon after capped a really good performance.
It was fitting for Eoin Morgan to hit the winning runs. He played fantastically well in the face of some fast, hostile bowling. He did everything that he asks of the team; that's one of the great strengths of his leadership, he goes out and plays in the way that he expects of us.
After the win, we stayed in Birmingham for the night. A few of us got together, but they were very quiet celebrations before coming down to London ready for practice.
New Zealand have got some fantastic players in their side; it will be two really good teams competing in the final and should be a fantastic day.
We know we have to bring our best cricket.
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