Jos Buttler, Jack Leach back as England name 16-member squad for the fifth Test against India

Jos Buttler, Jack Leach back as England name 16-member squad for the fifth Test against India

Jack Leach has not played a single Test for England this summer while Buttler's form has been questionable.

Jack Leach
Jack Leach. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After their loss at The Oval in the fourth Test against India, England has announced their squad for the fifth and the final Test which is scheduled to be played at the Old Trafford in Manchester, from September 10, 2021. India is leading the series 2-1, but England still has a chance to square off the Pataudi Trophy and have their hand on one side of it. 

In terms of changes to the squad, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has returned to the squad after the birth of his daughter. He had missed out on the fourth Test because of that. Despite not being in the best of forms, Buttler remains one of the more experienced players on this side. Manchester being his home ground could be a decisive factor in having him back in the XI. 

No vice-captain was named for the final Test, despite Jos Buttler’s return

Interestingly enough, no vice-captain has been named for this Test. Moeen Ali was named deputy to Joe Root in the fourth match, but Buttler’s return should have meant that he would take the badge from Ali. Not naming either of them as the vice-captain could be a sign that neither of the two has a confirmed place in the final XI to take the field in Manchester. 

 

Somerset left-arm orthodox spinner Jack Leach, who has been unlucky to not have played a single Test this summer, has been named in the squad. With the wicket likely to help spinners in Old Trafford, Leach’s return makes sense. Given the presence of Chris Woakes, England might just decide to pick Leach ahead of Ali, but going with both of them doesn’t look like something they would fancy. 

Sam Billings, who was added to the squad for the Oval Test has been released with Buttler’s comeback. He will join his county team, Kent. Ollie Pope who came in for the Oval Test, got an 81 which might just make Root stick with him. But, Jonny Bairstow who took the gloves might lose his place if Buttler is to be brought back. Craig Overton, who seemed to hurt his elbow while batting on the fifth day in Oval, has been named in the squad as well. These are some posing questions for England. 

England’s fifth Test squad: Joe Root (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood