Buttler to miss final Ashes Test

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler will miss the final Ashes Test after suffering a hand injury during the drawn fourth Test in Sydney.

The 31-year-old was struck while keeping and will now fly home.

England have added Kent’s Sam Billings to their squad, and he is set to make his Test debut in the day-night match in Hobart, starting on Friday.

Billings made a 500-mile drive from the Gold Coast to Sydney in order to link up with the England squad.

England also have doubts over all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has a side strain, and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow after he was struck on the thumb while make a century in the first innings.

All three men batted on Sunday as England clung on nine wickets down to keep the series at 3-0 and avoid being whitewashed.

Buttler was hit during Australia’s first innings and with Bairstow also injured, Ollie Pope took the gloves in the hosts’ second innings.

Although he was out for a duck in England’s first innings, Buttler faced 38 balls for 11 runs during 45 minutes at the crease during the second-innings rearguard.

Captain Joe Root said Buttler had suffered a “serious injury”.

“For him to front up from the moment he took that knock shows how much he cares, how much it means to play in this team and play for England,” added Root.

Stokes suffered a side strain while bowling in Australia’s first innings and played no further part with the ball, though he did make a half-century in each innings with the bat.

Bairstow was hit by Pat Cummins on the way to making 113 in the first innings and followed up with 41 in the second.

“A number of players were hurting physically and still putting in a huge amount,” said Root.

“There was clearly a bit of pain relief required. It’s not just that, but also the psychological element. For them to perform the way they did shows a huge amount of character.”

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