ENG vs AUS: Jos Buttler to miss final T20I
Jos Buttler is set to miss England's third and final T20I against Australia due to family reasons.
The wicket-keeper batsman, who opened the innings for England in the second T20I on Sunday, left his team's bio-secure bubble on the same day to be with his family. The 29-year-old has featured in all six of England's Test matches this summer and been in the bubble for the last 10 weeks, meaning that he has not seen his family during the tenure.
As per the sources, Buttler - who played a match-winning knock of 77 off 54 balls in the second T20I - approached his captain Eoin Morgan and coach Chris Silverwood to ask for leave; a request that was easily granted. As things stand, he will undergo a virus test before joining his teammates back for the three-match ODI series against the Australians, which starts on September 11.
"England batsman Jos Buttler left the bio-secure bubble yesterday evening following the team's victory over Australia to be with his family. He will miss England's final Vitality IT20 against Australia on Tuesday at the Ageas Bowl," read a statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
"Buttler, subject to testing, will return to the bio-secure bubble on Thursday ahead of the first ODI of the Royal London Series at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday."
Buttler's absence means there's now a possibility of a little shake-up in the team. Sam Billings is considered as a like-to-like replacement, but if England decide to give Jonny Bairstow the gloves, the likes of Liam Livingstone and Joe Denly might battle for the place. Furthermore, there's also a possibility that Tom Banton might be pushed up front.
Apart from all of that though, there are also concerns over the fitness of captain Eoin Morgan, who dislocated his ring finger during the second T20I on Sunday. The 33-year-old dived in to prevent Marcus Stoinis' drive through the cover in the ninth over, but the ball hit the top of his finger, causing a lucid dislocation. The captain was taken off the field for some treatment and he heroically returned in the very next over, missing only three balls during the tenure.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dan Mullan