Buttler set to rejoin England squad ahead of final Test at Manchester

England’s wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler will return to the home squad for the fifth and final Test against India, starting Friday in Manchester.

After playing the first three matches of the five-match Test series against India in Nottingham, Lord’s and Leeds, Buttler had to leave the England squad ahead of the ongoing fourth Test at the Kennington Oval in London to attend the birth of his second child.

On Thursday, September 2, he was blessed with a baby girl, Margot.

Recently, it was speculated that Buttler’s England future would only consist of white-ball cricket however, Test skipper Joe Root has clarified that the stumper’s career in the purest format is far from being over.

Root also said that Buttler remains an integral part of the Three Lions’ Test setup.

“I don’t see this being the end of Jos’ Test career at all. I see someone that is desperate to perform well in the Test arena. I think he loves the Test game and he’s a big part of our team. As far as I’m concerned, I hope it’s a really memorable week for him and it will be great whenever he is available to play again,” Root was quoted as saying in a virtual press conference.

In the absence of Buttler, Jonny Bairstow took the wicketkeeping gloves in the ongoing fourth Test while Ollie Pope was drafted in as a middle-order batter.

Pope scored 81 runs in the first innings of the ongoing Test and if Buttler returns, the home side’s team management will be in with a conundrum regarding changes in the batting lineup.

Althogh, Buttler has managed only 72 runs from five innings of the three matches he played, Buttler has been impressive behind the wickets after taking 18 catches in the series so far.

Recently, Butler had announced to pull out of the upcoming second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19, due to personal reasons.

During the first phase of the 14th edition of the cash-rich league, which was suspended midway due to emergence of Covid-19 cases inside the tournament’s bio-bubble, Buttler had regained form after smashing a brilliant 124 off just 64 balls.

After Buttler’s decision, his franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR) had announced to sign New Zealand’s Glenn Philips, who has played 25 T20Is, as his replacement.

Few days back, Buttler had said that he may also skip the Ashes tour against Australia due to challenges posed by Covid-19 and wants to spend more time with his family.

Buttler said that his entire family has sacrificed a lot and spending time away from them due to strict bio-bubble protocols would get difficult to deal with.

“I’ve sacrificed a lot for cricket and my wife and family have sacrificed a lot. Covid is incredibly challenging for everyone and Australia has a very strict policy in how they’ve tried to deal with it. Until we get more information about what it (the Australian tour) might look like, it’s impossible to know what decision you’re making,” Buttler was quoted as saying by The Times.

“One of the challenges is working out where the line is, where you say I can’t do that. You have to be open to saying no. It would be incredibly disappointing if some players feel like they can’t do it,” he had added.

News Desk

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