England’s captain Jos Buttler attends a practice session at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on Monday. Image Credit: AFP

Dharamsala: Ben Stokes is set to miss Tuesday’s match against Bangladesh but England captain Jos Buttler is more concerned with the outfield in Dharamsala, which he thinks is not ideal for World Cup matches.

Former England batter and Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott questioned the condition of the outfield after spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman narrowly escaped injury after jamming his knee into the sandy surface.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given the outfield an “average” rating, allowing it to host World Cup matches, but concerns about players’ safety while fielding lingers.

Poor in my own opinion

“It’s poor in my own opinion,” Buttler told reporters on Monday ahead of the match against Bangladesh.

“Any time you’re talking about being careful diving or sort of being careful when you’re fielding, it goes against everything you want to be as a team.

“So that’s obviously not ideal, the way the surface is, the outfield. But we won’t use it as an excuse, we’ll adapt to it.”

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England players practicing at the venue in Dharamsala on Monday. Skipper Jos Buttler has severely criticised the outfield. Image Credit: Reuters

Defending champions England are hoping to bounce back from their nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in Thursday’s tournament opener in Ahmedabad.

An unsafe outfield adds to the problems of a side fretting on the fitness of Stokes, who missed the first match with a minor hip issue.

Fantastic wicket

“You want to put your body on the line and be trying to save every single run or have confidence in the field. So, it’s not as good as it could be or should be, but it’s going to be the same for both teams, and the wicket looks fantastic,” Buttler said.

Buttler has been candid about his team’s underwhelming start to their title defence.

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Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim bats at the nets on the eve of the match against England. Image Credit: AFP

“We know we didn’t play as well as we can in the last game and you’re always desperate to put that right, both individually and as a team,” he said.

“So, there’s plenty of hunger in the group and we’re excited to get back on the field.”

Realistic target

England’s October 15 contest against Afghanistan in New Delhi looks a more realistic target for Stokes to return to action.

“It’s good to see him back in the nets and building back towards full fitness but probably unlikely for tomorrow,” Buttler said.