Jos Buttler could miss at least two tests against India as England rest multi-format players

Jos Buttler could miss at least two of England’s tryouts against India in early 2021, and Ben Foakes will be given a chance as a wicketkeeper for part of the four-game series.

England will lay off all their multi-format players at some point during their tours to Sri Lanka and India, which will run from early January to late March. Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes will miss both events in Sri Lanka, while Buttler, England’s other guaranteed starter in all three formats, looks set to have a rest period during the India series.

Buttler’s likely absence will give Foakes, who is the backup bodyguard on the Sri Lanka tour, a chance to impress after nearly two years off the team. Jonny Bairstow has also been called up to the Sri Lanka series squad, but is currently viewed primarily as a skilled hitter. It is likely to be in the top five in the absence of Stokes, Rory Burns, who misses the tour to attend the birth of his first child, and the injured Ollie Pope.

“I think there will be opportunities for Ben Foakes at some point this winter,” said Ed Smith, the national coach. “Jos Buttler is sure to have a break at some point, so then he will create or open opportunities elsewhere. We are very fortunate in English cricket to have such strong depth in that area, and we will try to deploy those resources wisely and to the best use of the equipment.

“[Foakes] He spent the entire summer in the bubble, and I think there is a real understanding that he is a very good cricketer and that he deserves opportunities. I think there will soon be some opportunity for him at some point. “