Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler and Jack Leach have returned to England’s squad for the fifth Test match against India.
Buttler had missed the fourth Test as he wanted to be with his wife for the birth of his second child. Furthermore, Jack Leach also returns to the 16-man squad after he could not find a place in the final XI in the first two Test matches.
Leach’s return to the squad indicates that he could replace Moeen Ali, who didn’t have a great game at the Oval or England could play with two spinners as the Old Trafford pitch is expected to aid the spinners as the conditions will be hot in Manchester.
Meanwhile, Ollie Pope, who replaced Buttler in the fourth Test scored a crucial knock of 81 runs in the first innings but was dismissed without troubling the scorers in the second dig.
Buttler has been England’s wicket-keeper in Test matches in the last 18 months and thus there will be selection headaches for the team.
“Jos will be available for Old Trafford and yes there will be a decision that has to be made, so we’ll be making that over the next few days,” Silverwood said. “I’m going to keep my thoughts to myself for the moment, I’m going to have a sleep on it and then I can obviously make decisions from there. I and Joe can have a talk and make a decision.”
On the other hand, England’s veteran fast bowler James Anderson, 39, has played all the four-Test matches of the series and Silverwood added that he will have a word with the pacer regarding his selection.
“It’ll be a discussion that he and I will have together,” Silverwood said. “He will have input into that, without a shadow of a doubt. James knows his own body.
We have got a bit of time now between this game and the next one. I know what it’s like, he won’t want to miss any cricket. We have to make sure we look after him. Although there is a gap between the final Test and what’s in front of him. He’s certainly someone I want to make sure is looked after.”
If both Anderson and Robinson, England’s two best bowlers in the series, are rested for the final Test, then Mark Wood, who missed the fourth Test is expected to return to the final XI.
“He’s certainly someone who comes back into contention,” Silverwood said. “We have got some aching bodies, I’m not going to deny that, so we obviously have to keep an eye on that. He could come back and if he does, he will obviously add that pace for us. If the pitch is abrasive as it usually is at Old Trafford there should be reverse swing. He’s certainly back in contention.”
England squad for the fifth Test: 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.