England wicketkeeper batter Jos Buttler is all set to return to the squad for the fifth and final Test of the ongoing series against India in Manchester. The Test match is set to begin on Friday, September 10 at the Old Trafford in Manchester. While Buttler featured in the first three Test matches of the series in Nottingham, Lord's and Leeds, he had taken paternity leave to attend to the birth of his child and had to miss the fourth Test match at the Oval in London.
Buttler was blessed with a baby girl on September 2 and will now rejoin the squad for the final Test. While there have been speculations over the end of his Test career following a disappointing run with the bat against India, captain Joe Root thinks otherwise. Root has gone on record saying that Buttler's red-ball career is far from being over and he remains an integral part of the Three Lions' plans moving forward.
Think Jos loves the Test game and he’s a big part of our team: Root
“I don’t see this being the end of Jos’ Test career at all. I see someone that is desperate to perform well in the Test arena. I think he loves the Test game and he’s a big part of our team. As far as I’m concerned, I hope it’s a really memorable week for him and it will be great whenever he is available to play again,” Root said at a virtual press conference.
After Buttler left the team for personal reasons, it was Johnny Bairstow who took the wicketkeeping gloves with Ollie Pope being drafted into the team as a middle-order batter. With Pope scoring 81 in the first innings and yet to bat in the second, it would be interesting to see whom Buttler replaces in the final Test if he is to make the XI.
Despite being a consistent run-getter in limited-overs cricket, Buttler's Test career has seen more lows than high and he has managed just 72 runs from his five innings at an average of 14.40 in the series so far. His highest score so far in the series was 25 which came in the second innings at Lord's which the home team eventually lost by 151 runs.