On Sunday, England captain Joe Root confirmed that wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler is ruled out of the fifth and final Ashes Test. Notably, Buttler had suffered a blow on his hand in the recently-concluded fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Root’s confirmation came after England managed to earn a dramatic draw in the Sydney Test. Stuart Broad and James Anderson batted out the final two overs on Day 5 to help England secure a draw and avoid the whitewash in the ongoing five-match series.
“Jos Buttler is going to be going home, it’s quite a bad injury. It’s a real disappointing shame for him and for the team. But it’s part and parcel of playing Test cricket. Sometimes you’ve got to take these things, but the way he stood up throughout the rest of the game, having taken that, and put in for the boys is a testament to his character and how much he cares about playing for this team,” said Root at the post-match presentation.
The injury completed a disappointing campaign for Buttler in the Ashes 2021-22. The Englishman only scored 107 runs at a dreadful average of 15.28 across the four Tests. His most significant contribution came in the second Test at Adelaide when Buttler played 26 from 207 balls in England’s failed attempt to save the match.
Not only with the bat, but Buttler also had a terrible time behind the wickets. He ended up dropping quite a few catches, with the most talked-about being of Australia’s centurion Marnus Labuschagne in that Adelaide Test.
Although Jonny Bairstow is also in the side, who smashed a stunning ton in the first innings and batted for two-and-a-half hours in the second essay, he might not keep after injuring his right thumb during the match.
In such a case, for the fifth and final Test, Buttler may get replaced by Sam Billings, who returned one negative PCR test after starting his isolation in Sydney. Billings will join the main squad subject to a second negative test this week.