England wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler is set to fly home from the ongoing Ashes after sustaining a finger injury. Buttler was seen in some discomfort in the drawn fourth Test at Sydney. He suffered an injury while keeping on the second day of the Test. Despite the injury, he batted in both innings. However, he could not contribute much with the bat.
Ollie Pope substituted for Buttler and did a good job, taking four catches in the hosts’ second innings. He thus also equalled the record of taking most catches as a substitute fielder. England skipper Joe Root confirmed that Buttler will fly back home and miss the final Test in Hobart.
“Jos Buttler is going to be going home, it’s quite a bad injury,” Joe Root, England’s captain, said at the post-match presentations. “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 it in for the boys is a testament to his character and how much he cares about playing for this team,” he added.
The injury brings an end to a disappointing series for Buttler with the bat and behind the stumps. He scored only 107 runs in eight innings at a dismal average of 15.28. The 33-year-old also dropped a few crucial catches behind the stumps. Apart from Buttler, Jonny Bairstow is also nursing an injured thumb. However, he batted in the fourth innings and scored a vital 41 runs. Meanwhile, Sam Billings is expected to be the designated wicketkeeper-batter in the absence of Buttler. The fifth Test match will get underway on Friday, January 14 in Hobart.