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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 Tests against India in early 2021, with Ben Foakes set to be handed an opportunity as wicketkeeper for part of the four-match series.

England will rest all of their multi-format players at some stage in their tours to Sri Lanka and India, which run from early January to late March. Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes will miss the two Tests in Sri Lanka, while Buttler – England’s other guaranteed starter across all three formats – looks set to be given a period of rest during the India series.

Buttler’s likely absence will provide Foakes, who is the back-up wicketkeeper on the tour to Sri Lanka, with a chance to impress after nearly two years out of the side. Jonny Bairstow has also been recalled to the squad for the Sri Lanka series, but is currently being considered primarily as a specialist batsman. He is likely to bat in the top five in the absence of Stokes, Rory Burns – who is missing the tour to attend the birth of his first child – and the injured Ollie Pope.

“I think there will be opportunity for Ben Foakes at some point this winter,” Ed Smith, the national selector, said. “Jos Buttler is certain to have a rest at some point, so that then will create or open up opportunities elsewhere. We’ve very fortunate in English cricket to have such strong depth in that area, and we’ll try to deploy those resources intelligently and to the best use of the team.

“[Foakes] spent the whole summer in the bubble, and I think there’s a real understanding that he’s a very good cricketer and merits opportunities. I think there will be some opportunity for him at some point soon.”

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