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Buttler keen to forget as England begin T20 defence

Jos Buttler speaks to the media in Barbados
England won the T20 World Cup when it was played in West Indies in 2010 [Getty Images]

ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Group B: England v Scotland

Venue: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown Date: Tue, 4 June Time: 15:30 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC Test Match Special on BBC Sounds and Radio 5 Sports Extra on Tuesday, with text commentary and in-play video clips on the BBC Sport website and app

Jos Buttler is done with talking.

It is 205 days since England's dismal 50-over World Cup defence ended in Kolkata.

Buttler will have spent the next five months trying to forget it.

For the past two weeks, either side of attending the birth of his third child, he has been asked what he learned from that tournament.

"I am focused on this World Cup," a terse Buttler said on Monday.

Buttler's England are in Barbados where they play Scotland on Tuesday, hoping to make a better fist of the defence of the world T20 crown they won in Melbourne in 2022.

Their hopes have been boosted by the return of bowler Jofra Archer, who is set to play an international in the country of his birth for the first time.

The youthful swagger of Phil Salt, another with Barbadian roots, and Will Jacks gives England a fresh look from the side that struggled in India last autumn, while Buttler and others found form in the Indian Premier League in recent months.

Momentum was also gained with two victories against Pakistan in the past 10 days amid the washouts.

It leaves a settled side with the toss up between Mark Wood’s express pace and Reece Topley’s left-arm variation the only selection question.

However, Buttler was in no mood to give anything away.

"I am not going to tell you the team am I?" he said.

"I am pretty settled with what we are trying to do as a team. I don't need to sit here and tell you."

Buttler's barbs were in stark contrast to the relaxed Caribbean surroundings, but also the words of his coach Matthew Mott.

Australian Mott has spoken of a "commitment to open up" - that England were "guilty of being a bit insular" during their time in India.

Buttler gave an indication into his mind. What matters more is what he says inside the dressing room.

The England captain was resting the last time England met Scotland in a men’s international but five of the squad were in the XI stunned in Edinburgh.

The Scots have beaten Bangladesh, West Indies and Ireland in recent years and another upset would put them in a position to qualify from a group that also includes Australia, Oman and Namibia.

"People now are not taking us lightly, they know we are not to be underestimated," all-rounder Michael Leask told the BBC.

"I don't like the word free hit but we have nothing to lose."

Tuesday's meeting will be on the same pitch on which Namibia edged out Oman in a super over after a low-scoring match on a slow, difficult surface.

That raises the prospect of a T20 debut for England left-arm spinner Tom Hartley, but far more likely is an XI similar to the final T20 win against Pakistan at The Oval.

Wood and Topley both put in a spell in practice as did Sam Curran, who is trying to recapture his form. The player of the tournament from 2022 is almost certain to miss out.

The struggles in India are the most recent memory of England's white-ball side on the big stage but that night in Melbourne was only 18 months ago.

England have plenty in their favour going into this World Cup.

They should be contenders but need what they did not get in India - a good start.