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Saturday, January 22, 2022

England’s Jos Buttler to return home with broken finger

England have also called limited-overs specialist wicketkeeper Sam Billings into the squad as cover for Bairstow and Buttler.

By: AP | Sydney |
Updated: January 9, 2022 6:30:56 pm
Jos Buttler, Jos Buttler england, Joe Root, Joe Root england, ashes, sports news, indian expressJos Buttler has a broken finger and will be returning home to end a difficult Ashes tour for the 57-test capped wicketkeeper-batsman. (File)

England’s Jos Buttler has a broken finger and will be returning home to end a difficult Ashes tour for the 57-test capped wicketkeeper-batsman. England team management said after the dramatic finish to the fourth test that saw the tourists cling on for a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday that Buttler has a fractured left index finger and that he will return home on Monday for further assessment and treatment.

It’s quite a serious injury and for him to be able to front up and put in as he did from the moment he took that knock shows how much he cares, said captain Joe Root after the fourth test.

It shows how much it means to him to play in this test team and how much it means to him to play for England. With Buttler unable to take the gloves, his obvious replacement, Jonny Bairstow, was also hobbled, having hurt his thumb while scoring a century in England’s first innings, which meant Ollie Pope was drafted in for the tourists as a substitute fielder.

Pope lost his spot in the batting order to Bairstow and wasn’t in the starting XI in the fourth test. The England team said that Bairstow would travel with the touring squad to Hobart for the fifth test starting on Friday and his thumb injury would be assessed later in the week.

England have also called limited-overs specialist wicketkeeper Sam Billings into the squad as cover for Bairstow and Buttler.

Root says England draw restored pride in his team

Joe Root claimed England’s dramatic draw in Sydney had restored pride in his team and represented “a small step forward” after their Ashes disappointment.

Root’s side batted for the entire fifth day at the SCG, clinging on by the skin of their teeth as they finished on 270 for nine with last man James Anderson arriving at the crease to see off the final over of the match.

While the urn was already lost after three hefty defeats over 12 depressing days of action, this was a much-needed show of resilience from a side that had been widely tipped to capitulate 5-0.

Three batters survived for 100 balls or more – Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow all carrying a sizeable share of the load – while Anderson’s late act of defiance was preceded by gutsy innings by fellow tailenders Stuart Broad and Jack Leach.

Root, for once, was not central to his side’s efforts having fallen for 24 in the afternoon session but he has long shouldered too much of the burden and was delighted with what he saw.

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