Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and left-arm spinner Jack Leach have returned to England squad for the fifth and final Test against India, which will begin at Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10.
Batsman Sam Billings, who was included in the fourth Test squad for Buttler, will now return to play county cricket for Kent.
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.
Althogh, Buttler has managed only 72 runs from five innings of the three matches he played, he 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.
Hosts England lost the fourth Test by 157 runs as the Virat Kohli-led India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match rubber.
England Squad for Fifth Test:
Joe Root (Captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.