Jos Buttler could miss the remainder of England’s Test series with India for the birth of his second child, as per reports in The Daily Mail. It was previously anticipated that the wicketkeeper-batsman would miss the final game at Old Trafford, and Buttler himself suggested so in an interview last week with The Sunday Times.
But the matches are being packed into the remainder of the summer, and Old Trafford follows the fourth Test at the Oval without any significant break. When interviewed after his and his team’s victory by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley, captain Joe Root did not rule out Buttler’s imminent withdrawal from the squad, suggesting that the situation right now remains unclear.
Some have debated whether Buttler should take part in the rest of the series in any case, given he also suggested he would consider staying at home when the rest of the side travel to Australia later this year for the Ashes. Buttler would understandably be reluctant to spend a significant amount of time away from his young family, and travelling after the T20 World Cup could mean spending four months separated.
England and Joe Root will argue, however, that the focus in Test cricket always remains on the here and now. The Ashes, however historic and contextually important, will currently be second on their list of red-ball priorities, headed by building on their clinical performance in Leeds and earning a series victory over a talented, resilient Indian side.