Jos Buttler, getting ready for the final flourish

On the personal front, Buttler’s form with the willow has slowed down since his ton against Pakistan, almost a month ago, but he is hopeful for a big knock in the remaining games.

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler at a net session at Edgbaston in Birmingham.   -  Getty Images

Jos Buttler was barely a year and a half old when England reached a World Cup semifinal for the last time in 1992. Not just him, most members of the current England side have only heard stories how Graham Gooch’s men reached the final that year, only to go down to Imran Khan’s Pakistan.

It’s been a 27-year wait since.

On Wednesday as Eoin Morgan’s men stormed into the semifinal of yet another World Cup, team vice-captain Jos Buttler’s expressions indicated that the time is now.

“We are excited, and have a bit of relief as well,” Buttler said after the team’s one-sided victory against New Zealand at the Riverside ground.

England had two tough games, against Sri Lanka and Australia, but the players showed ‘great character’ to bounce back.

“From the start, I think it was the minimum requirement, the first stage we had to get to. We have given ourselves a great chance and are excited to play in the semifinal of a home World Cup. It’s a great feeling and we’re really excited for that challenge,” Buttler said.

On the personal front, Buttler’s form with the willow has slowed down since his ton against Pakistan, almost a month ago.

But against New Zealand, he contributed with a stunner of a catch down the leg side to send Martin Guptill packing. “I’ve been a bit disappointed not to have contributed as much as I’d like. I haven’t quite executed or made the right decision and have found ways of getting out. Luckily, I still have another chance for another innings or two in the World Cup,” he said.

But for him, the larger picture lies in England’s success.

“We stood up and played our brand of cricket under pressure. That breeds a lot of confidence for the group, that our way is the best way and gives us a lot of chance of performing. That’s what we have resorted to in the two must-win games and shows that we must continue that…”

“For the country, it’s very exciting that we are in a semifinal and we have had some fantastic support all the way through the tournament. We are very excited for the home atmosphere,” Buttler said.

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