Jos Buttler of England will miss the forth test:
Jos Buttler, England’s wicketkeeper-batsman, will miss next week’s fourth Test against India at the Oval due to the impending birth of his second child, but Chris Woakes has been cleared to rejoin the squad, team management confirmed on Sunday.
Buttler, Joe Root’s vice-captain in the continued absence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes due to mental health difficulties, has been run-short this season, with the best score of 25.
However, he has held 18 catches in a five-match series that is now tied at 1-1 after England won the third Test by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley on Saturday with more than a day to spare.
Jonny Bairstow, who was selected solely as a batsman at his home field of Headingley in Yorkshire, will take over the gloves when England and India meet again in London on Thursday.
Bairstow has kept wicket in 48 of his 77 Tests, but it has been two years since he has done so at this level.
The 31-year-old is the son of late England wicketkeeper David Bairstow and has been a regular of the hosts’ top five during the current series.
However, the added physical strain of keeping wicket may force Bairstow to slide to number six, resulting in a comeback for either Ollie Pope or Dan Lawrence into England’s XI.
Sam Billings has been called up to a 15-man team to fill in for Bairstow.
Woakes, a pace-bowling all-rounder has not played a Test match in almost a year, owing primarily to fitness issues, but has been returned after recuperating from a recent heel injury.
“We wish Jos and his family all the best on the approaching arrival of their second child,” England coach Chris Silverwood said on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, he will miss this Test, and we will see if he is available for the last Test at Emirates Old Trafford.”
Bairstow is relishing his wicketkeeping duties.
Silverwood, who is now in charge of team selection, added: “Jonny Bairstow will take over as wicketkeeper, which he is looking forward to. As we all know, he has the talents to take over for Jos but also the capacity to score important runs in the middle order if needed.”
Meanwhile, Silverwood greeted Woakes’ return by saying: “It’s great to see Chris back in the Test squad.
“He has bowled well for Warwickshire over the last week, with no serious concerns about his heel issue.
“He is an asset we have been lacking, both with the ball and in terms of his ability to score runs in the middle order. We’re excited to watch him practice at the Oval as we prepare for back-to-back Tests.”
Fast bowler Mark Wood, who did not play at Headingley due to a shoulder injury sustained while fielding during India’s 151-run triumph in the second Test at Lord’s, has been retained in the team.
“Mark Wood is making a good comeback from his damaged right shoulder,” said Silverwood, a former England paceman. “It’s nice to have a variety of alternatives with our bowling stocks as we got closer to the end of the series.”
England’s squad for the fourth Test against India, scheduled for September 2-6 at the Oval:
Joe Root (capt), Dan Lawrence, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, Ollie Pope, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes