Sam Billings, Delhi Capitals, IPL 2021, ICC T20 World Cup
Sam Billings [Image-Getty]

It seems like Kent’s Sam Billings, who had represented England in ODIs and T20Is, might make an unlikely Test debut in the fifth and final Ashes 2021-22 Test to be played under lights in Hobart, Tasmania. This comes after he was asked to stay back in Australia instead of flying out to join England’s white-ball squad and added to the Test squad.

The Daily Mail UK has reported that the two wicketkeeping options England has at the moment in Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow are almost certainly out of the fifth Test match after suffering hand injuries respectively. Bairstow was hit on his finger during his counterattacking 103* on day three, while Buttler suffered an injury while keeping in Australia’s first innings.

Billings, who has been playing under Trevor Bayliss for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash, will now challenge Bairstow and, perhaps, Ollie Pope, to take gloves in the day-night Test match at Hobart starting from next Friday. He has played 25 one-day internationals and 33 T20s for England.

Jonny Bairstow
Image Source: Twitter

Bairstow has injured his thumb while batting and needed an x-ray, which might not be strong enough for him to take on a dual role. Ollie Pope had kept wickets for England against New Zealand in 2019, and was seen practicing with the gloves, alongside consultant James Foster in the Sydney nets on Friday.

Ben Stokes Also Out Of Hobart Test Match After Suffering Damage To His Side

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. Credits: Twitter

Not only are Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow reportedly going to miss the fifth Test match, but ace all-rounder Ben Stokes might also join them as he has seemingly damaged his side bowling bouncers in the enforcer role on the second day of the fourth Test at the SCG and was clearly struggling while making a brave 66 for England.

Stokes has suffered an intercostal muscle injury which takes a lot of time to heal and may also miss out on England’s next red-ball assignment against the West Indies in March.

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler Drops Marnus Labuschagne ( Image Source – Twitter)

On the other hand, Buttler has seemingly played his last Test match for England, possibly for contractual reasons, that he still wants to play his part in England’s red-ball future. His hand injury played a part in his dismissal in England innings as he tamely lobbed Pat Cummins to cover to score a blob, adding to a miserable Ashes tour that he has endured.

Buttler has just two hundreds in 57 Tests and only seven in first-class cricket, his defiance in making 26 off 207 balls in the second Test in Adelaide earned him praises, but apart from that he has failed to make a fifty in the ongoing series and has dropped sitters behind the stumps.

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