Jos Buttler’s last England appearance was the first T20I against Sri Lanka in June.© AFP
England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan has said both Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are doubtful for the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan. Buttler played the first T20I against Sri Lanka, but has missed the following five matches (two T20Is and three ODIs) due to a calf tear and it has also ruled him out of the three ODIs against Pakistan. On the other hand, Stokes missed the series against Sri Lanka as he recovers from the finger injury he sustained in Rajasthan Royals’ opening IPL fixture.
“There’s always a fine balance between looking at the here-and-now and planning towards the T20 World Cup, also bearing in mind that those two guys are all-format players so they will probably go Down Under and play in the Ashes as well. Trying to balance that along with trying to get the best squad out can be difficult at times, but I think at the moment we’re spoiled for choice,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Morgan as saying.
“From what I’m hearing, calves can be quite temperamental — it just depends on how Buttler feels. In a similar instance to Ben, the priority wouldn’t be to get him back as soon as possible if there’s a 50-50 chance. I know he progressed his running a couple of days ago and does feel good, but things can change,” he added.
Stokes has returned to county cricket action, but it is yet to be seen whether England risk rushing him back.
Further talking about Stokes and Buttler, Morgan said: “The last thing we want to do is rush somebody back and jump with the level of intensity from county cricket to international when there isn’t necessarily a need. We are happy for Ben to progress as he sees fit, and obviously have one eye on the Test series as well.”
Sri Lanka failed to win a single match on their tour to England after they suffered a 3-0 defeat in T20Is and 2-0 in the ODI series. England and Pakistan will lock horns in three ODIs and three T20Is, beginning Thursday.
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