Jos Buttler injury doubt for second Test; Ollie Pope would keep wicket


Jos Buttler is an injury doubt for the second Test in Hamilton have suffered a back spasm in training.

Joe Root has confirmed that Ollie Pope will keep wicket if Buttler is unable to play.

Pope has kept in just five first-class games, the last of which was in February. Rory Burns, England’s opening batsman, has also kept wicket at first-class level.

“Jos has tweaked his back in the gym,” Root said. “We’ll have to find out a little bit more information on that throughout today and see where he’s at.”

While the obvious replacement for Buttler might be Zak Crawley, the top-order batsman, Root hinted that Chris Woakes was another option.

“There’s a number of different combinations we could go with and I think a lot of that will rely on the surface,” Root said. “Trying to find the best combination which would take 20 wickets and then balancing that in terms of getting the batting where we want it to be. It could be an allrounder, we’ll see.”

More to follow

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