Jos Buttler stood by England’s decision to deviate from the tried and trusted despite losing to Bangladesh, who avoided a one-day international series whitewash with a 50-run win at Chattogram.
There was a slightly experimental feel to this dead rubber as the debuting Rehan Ahmed was the only Englishman to bowl his full allotment, while champion leg-spinner Adil Rashid sent down just five overs.
Sam Curran was also promoted to number five in the batting order, having featured exclusively at seven or eight in his previous 15 ODIs, pushed up ahead of England captain Buttler and his deputy Moeen Ali.
The tweaks had modest success as Ahmed took one for 62 after becoming England’s youngest men’s ODI player and Curran hit 23 off 49 balls as the tourists, chasing 247, were all out for 196 in 43.1 overs.
“(I have) no regrets at all,” Buttler said. “I thought it made sense to give Rehan the opportunity to bowl – to see him bowl and bowl to good players, put him under a bit of pressure which is great.
“I thought he did really well. He doesn’t lack confidence, he’s very trusting in his ability, which is fantastic for a young guy. He was willing to bowl to very aggressive fields and challenge himself, which is a great sign moving forward. For a guy on debut, I thought he handled himself brilliantly well.
“It was absolutely an opportunity to give Rehan his debut, for Sam to bat at number five. I see huge potential in Sam Curran’s batting.
“It was a chance to gather as much information as we possibly can and expose people to different situations. If we lost the game, then so be it, but I believed we had a team and performance that could have won the game.”
Having sealed a 2-1 series win, England now do not have another ODI lined up until September, when the defence of their World Cup crown in India will be a matter of weeks away.
Buttler intimated ahead of this series he had an inkling of his best line-up and, while that remains the case, he thinks England have plenty of options to call upon later this year.
“You have an idea but there’s a long time before that point as well,” Buttler said. “I’m sure there’ll be things that happen along the course of time that may change, but we’re in a really strong position.
“We have a lot of really talented players, some very experienced players who are not here at the moment as well, so we’re going to have a really tough squad to pick.”
Buttler and white-ball head coach Matthew Mott have rarely been able to draft a full-strength squad in ODIs or T20s due to injuries and priority being given to the Test team amid a hectic fixture programme.
However, Buttler is aware it was a similar situation last year in the months leading up to the T20 World Cup, with the big guns restored to the side in a tournament England went on to win.
“The schedule is hugely challenging to get your best XI on the field,” Buttler added. “Looking back to the T20 World Cup, we probably went in having never played our perceived best XI.
“We had to get into the tournament and went on to win it, it gives you great confidence even though we haven’t had the opportunities to always play our best team for a while.
“International cricket has become just more focused on the ICC tournaments and we are building towards that. We know comes the World Cup we will have the opportunity to pick from everyone who is available.”