Jos Buttler hailed England's aggressive approach after his team convincingly won the second ODI against India by six wickets while chasing 337. The visitors won the tie with 6.3 overs to spare thanks to some brilliant power-hitting from Jonny Bairstow (124 off 112 balls) and Ben Stokes (99 off 52 balls).
Following England's defeat in the first ODI, there was some criticism for their ultra-aggressive approach as they collapsed in the latter half of their chase.
However, stand-in skipper Jos Buttler said that England are committed to playing in that positive fashion as they have enjoyed immense success in ODIs over the last few years.
"Delighted with the response of the guys. I thought we put in a very good bowling performance as well to restrict India to that total. Look at how well they played in the last ten overs, so I thought the guys in the middle overs did well to restrict them. And then the guys came out and played fantastically well; the intent and partnerships from the start made it a brilliant chase," Jos Buttler said in the post match presentation ceremony.
The England skipper added:
"The openers have been a pillar of our strength for a long period of time. Delighted for Jonny, and that partnership with Ben Stokes was brilliant to watch as a fellow player and a fan. Some of the strokes they played and the commitment to play that way. Some people talked about our way, and if we need to be smarter - of course, we want to play smart cricket, but we want to commit to the brand of cricket that we play as the side that has served us well for so long. It's important to commit to our style of play when the conditions suit. We've played on some good wickets here and a winner takes all game at the end, so we'll look forward to that." Buttler concluded.
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow once again gave England a brilliant start by stitching a 110-run opening stand. However, it was the 175-run partnership off 113 balls between Ben Stokes and Bairstow that knocked the stuffing out of the home side in the middle overs.
"We didn't go away from our values as a team" - Ben Stokes
This was only the fifth time in ODI history that a target of 300+ was chased with 39 or more balls to spare. After the game, Ben Stokes said it was important for England to stick to their values.
"I think the most pleasing thing for us is we didn't go away from our values as a team. We were bitterly disappointed after the first ODI. Great chase and happy we were able to go over the line fairly easily despite India putting up a big total. It could have been easy to rein ourselves in after the last game, but from a personal and team point of view, it was important to play as we do." the English all-rounder said.
The all-important series decider will be played on Sunday in Pune at the same venue. Following their defeat in the Test and T20I series, England will be keen to end their tour of India on a high.