WEEKEND POLL: Taylor and Buttler prove mettle as England face final showdown

England's Jos Butler, right, plays a stroke during England's one day international cricket match against India in Perth. (AP Photo/Theron Kirkman)
England's Jos Butler, right, plays a stroke during England's one day international cricket match against India in Perth. (AP Photo/Theron Kirkman)
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James Taylor believes England passed a big test of character by seeing off India in a low-scoring encounter at the WACA.

England set up a Tri-Series final against Australia with a three-wicket win but did not make life easy on themselves, collapsing to 66-5 in pursuit of 201.

Taylor’s dogged 82 helped stabilise the innings, with Jos Buttler contributing an impressive 67 as the pair shared the only century stand of the game.

Neither man was able to see the job through but their work was critical as England crossed the line 19 balls early.

They will need a more complete performance to challenge Australia for the trophy otomorrow, but Taylor sees the battling manner of their success as proof of the side’s mettle.

“In a perfect world it wouldn’t have got that tight. Sixty for five isn’t ideal but we showed some real character,” he said.

“It’s a great result for us. We definitely didn’t play our best cricket with the bat but, in a tough situation, we showed the character to get through it and win the game.”

Taylor’s knock was predominantly a triumph of will power, with the No 3 hitting just four boundaries and scrapping hard for everything else.

It was not an innings to leave the purists purring but Taylor was proud to have made tough runs on a tricky pitch.

“I’m delighted to make a score in a pressure situation, that’s what I pride myself on: finishing games and winning games,” he said.

“The way I was playing until 60-odd for five... I was struggling myself. But I managed to get through that and work the ball around.

“I know my game extremely well now. I wasn’t playing my best cricket but I did a job and that’s what I do.

“It’s not the prettiest but I like to think it’s effective a lot of the time.”

Buttler’s role cannot be underestimated either.

He played a different hand to Taylor’s, scoring at close to a run-per-ball and finding the boundary seven times.

It was a combination India struggled to deal with and one Taylor relished taking part in.

“We complimented each other nicely; I plink the ball everywhere and run them ragged and Jos times the ball nicely to the boundary,” he added.

“As soon as Jos came in, he took the pressure off me, he played his natural game and struck the ball as well as anybody.

“He stuck his hand up and won the game for us. That’s what we need people to do, stick their hands up and win games for England.”

Captain Eoin Morgan is another member of Buttler’s fan club, saying: “He is a talent, I think there’s a lot more to come.

“We’ve certainly seen a lot of him in county cricket and in the nets you get to see his full repertoire which is great to see and his talent is up there with anybody else in the world.”

While England are gearing up for another crack at Australia after two unsuccessful attempts in this series, India are planning to take a break from cricket for a number of days.

Their long, winless tour of duty Down Under is not yet finished, with the small matter of a World Cup still to go, but after 10 matches without success since arriving, there is at least a window to gather their thoughts.

“This will be a much-needed break and it will be important for the guys to not think about cricket, lock their kit bags and be away from it,’’ said captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “Not only me. Everybody. Lock the kitbag, keep it somewhere you don’t even want to see it. Completely switch off from cricket.”

As widely anticipated, Yorkshire’s Colin Graves has received the sole nomination for the post of England and Wales Cricket Board chairman.

The businessman, who was nominated by the 18 first-class counties and the MCC, has been executive chairman of Yorkshire since 2012 and was elected deputy chairman of the ECB the following year.

Graves said: “I am most grateful and honoured to have been nominated and I am especially grateful to Chris Grant, of Derbyshire CCC, for proposing me and to Clive Leach (Durham) and Norman Gascoigne (Warwickshire) for seconding me.”

Graves has been nominated to serve as ECB chairman from May 15. He confirmed his intention to stand at a strategy meeting earlier this month.

Representatives from the 18 first-class counties, and the MCC, unanimously agreed then to the creation of the new role of ECB president and recommended current chairman Giles Clark for the role.

It is expected that Graves will concentrate on an overhaul of domestic policy, alongside new ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.

Graves made it clear in an exclusive interview in the Yorkshire Post, that he anticipates significant changes in English cricket.

He said: “I would want a top-to-bottom review of cricket – from England Test match cricket right down to recreational cricket.

“If you ask most people whether cricket is positioned right at the moment, and whether everybody is happy with cricket, I don’t think anybody would put their hand up and say ‘Yes’, so there’s a lot of things we’ve got to sort out.”