'Buttler gives England their best chance of winning World Cup'
Jos Buttler gives England the “best chance they have ever had” of winning the World Cup, says former captain Michael Vaughan.
Buttler made unbeaten 110 to seal a one-wicket win in the fifth one-day international at Old Trafford and a 5-0 whitewash of Australia.
“I look at the England side and Buttler is the one. He’s the one player,” Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.
“Teams that win trophies have X-factor cricketers. He’s right up there.”
Vaughan added: “I’ve got everything crossed that he doesn’t pick up an injury.
“If he’s fit next year, they’ve got the best chance they have ever had.”
England, currently ranked number one in the world, host the World Cup in 2019.
They have not won a knockout match since 1992, and failed to progress beyond the group stages in the most recent tournament in 2015.
However, they have won 10 of their past 11 ODI series and the whitewash of Australia was only the second time they have beaten any opponents 5-0.
“Everything is about building towards the World Cup but you’ve got to play cricket at the same time,” said Buttler.
“We know that further down the line, with the World Cup, it’s not about winning 5-0; it’s about winning one-off games.
“Plucking today from nowhere shows that we’ve got that in us.”
‘The opposition are scared of Buttler’
England were reduced to 114-8 chasing only 206 to beat Australia on Sunday.
But Buttler curbed his usual aggressive instincts to make his slowest ODI hundred – off 117 balls – adding 81 for the ninth wicket with Adil Rashid and sealing victory with nine balls to spare alongside last man Jake Ball.
“What he provides to the team is that calmness,” said Vaughan, who played 82 Tests and 86 ODIs between 1999 and 2008.
“Whenever he is out there in the middle, he reads the game better than most. He knows and the team know that the opposition are scared of him more than most.”
England were knocked out in the group stage when they last hosted the World Cup in 1999.
However, they have since assembled a formidable side in the past three years, and made an ODI record 481-6 in the third ODI at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.
“Forget the 481 at Trent Bridge and the other hammerings – this game is one England will take more from,” said Vaughan.
“For them to get over the line today – in a real close game after Australia were favourites – this means more.”
The series win was completed two weeks after England suffered their first defeat by Scotland.
“We’ve progressed a lot and learnt a lot throughout the series,” said captain Eoin Morgan.
“We didn’t start as well as we would have liked but to win 5-0 is pretty special.”
The 2019 World Cup runs from 30 May to 14 July.