England’s Buttler to miss fourth Test against India for birth of second child

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LEEDS, United Kingdom (AFP) – England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler will miss next week s fourth Test against India at the Oval because of the expected birth of his second child, team management announced Sunday.

Jonny Bairstow, selected purely as a batsman for England s innings and 76-run win in the third Test at Headingley completed Saturday, will take over the gloves when the series — all square at 1-1 — resumes in London on Thursday.

This will be the first time Bairstow, who has kept wicket in 48 of his 77 Tests, will be behind the stumps at this level in two years.

Kent s Sam Billings has been called into a 15-man squad as cover, with pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes returning from a heel injury.

“We would like to wish Jos and his family all the very best for the impending birth of their second child,” said England coach Chris Silverwood on Sunday. “Unfortunately, he will miss this Test, and we ll then see if he returns for the final Test at Emirates Old Trafford.”

The former England paceman, now in charge of selection, added: “Jonny Bairstow will take over wicketkeeping duties, which he is relishing.

“As we all know, he has the skills to seamlessly take over from Jos and the ability to score crucial runs in the middle-order if called upon.”

England squad for the fourth Test against India at the Oval, September 2-6:

Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (capt), Dan Lawrence, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, Ollie Pope, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes

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