England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler will not be taking part in the fifth and final Ashes Test in Hobart this week after sustaining an index finger injury on Day 2 of the SCG Test.
Buttler didn’t take the field in Australia’s second innings and Ollie Pope took the field as the substitute keeper. The 31-year-old Buttler went for scans but was cleared to play in the fourth innings of the Test.
He did play 38 balls before being dismissed but his effort counted as England managed to hold on to a draw with just one wicket left. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Joe Root confirmed the news.
“Jos Buttler’s going to be going home. It’s quite a bad injury, so it’s a real disappointment and a shame for him and the team. It’s part and parcel of playing Test cricket, sometimes you’ve got to take these things. The way he stood up throughout the rest of the game having taken that [blow] is a testament to his character and how much he cares about playing for this team,” Root said.
Apart from Jos Buttler, England fret over Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes’ fitness
Jonny Bairstow scored a blazing century in the SCG Test but he also suffered a blow to his thumb. He was also asked to rest during the third innings but came out to bat for England later on.
All-rounder, Ben Stokes, picked up a side strain while bowling and he continuously stretched while batting, revealing he was unfit throughout the game. However, even an unfit Stokes managed to score fighting fifties (66 & 60) to help England’s cause in the match.
Sam Billings has been called up as a cover for Buttler. If both Bairstow and Stokes cannot play the final Test, it is likely that Pope and Dan Lawrence might be given a chance.