sport news Jos Buttler returns for England's series decider against India

sport news Jos Buttler returns for England's series decider against India
sport news Jos Buttler returns for England's series decider against India

Jos Buttler will make an instant return to England's Test side for the series decider against India, leaving Jonny Bairstow's place at risk once again.

Buttler missed the 157-run defeat at the Kia Oval due to the arrival of his second child but will make a swift return to the playing XI as both wicketkeeper and vice-captain in the fifth LV= Insurance Test at Emirates Old Trafford.

That means a straight fight between Bairstow and Ollie Pope for the final batting slot, with the latter's first-innings knock of 81 last time out probably enough to settle that debate.

Jos Buttler missed the 157-run defeat by India at The Oval to attend the birth of his second child

Jos Buttler missed the 157-run defeat by India at The Oval to attend the birth of his second child

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Buttler could return to the playing XI in the fifth Test at Emirates Old Trafford

He could return to the playing XI in the fifth Test between England and India in Manchester

Bairstow has been ever-present in the first four matches but an average of 26.28 and a top score of 55 in seven innings means his latest run in the team may be at an end.

Buttler's numbers are even less impressive, averaging 14.40 with a best of 25 in the the first three Tests, but he has the full confidence of captain Joe Root.

'Jos will be back and he will keep wicket,' he said, leaving no room for doubt.

'He is the vice-captain of this team, he is a senior player and he is integral to what we are about. 

'I know his output in terms of runs in this series has not been as high as he would like, or as we would like, but we know what a great player he is and how important he can be to turning a Test match. That is the reason behind it.'

The vice-captain averaged 14.40 in the first three Tests but has the backing of Joe Root (right)

The vice-captain averaged 14.40 in the first three Tests but has the backing of Joe Root (right)

If he is asked to make way, Bairstow may feel the last four games represent a microcosm of the past few years in the Test arena. 

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In the space of just a few weeks he has been recalled as a specialist batsmen, shifted to wicketkeeping duties, batted in three different positions and may now find himself moved to one side again.

'I think Jonny knew exactly what the scenario was

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