Root calls for Buttler but serving up a win could be hindered by burnout | Andy Bull

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Andy Bull

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Captain has got plenty to ponder heading into England’s final Test against India and wants Test cricket to be a priority

Here’s one thing Joe Root is certain about – Jos Buttler will be back in the England team as wicketkeeper and vice-captain for the fifth Test at Old Trafford. Beyond that, Root has got plenty to ponder: about the make-up of his bowling attack, whether England ought to rest either Jimmy Anderson or Ollie Robinson, if they should pick Jack Leach as a second spinner alongside Moeen Ali, what Buttler’s return means for the men who covered for him, Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope, if there’s anything he can do to help fix his rickety slip cordon, and when, exactly, one of his middle order is going to give him some proper support by scoring a century.

Between them, Robinson and Anderson have already bowled 330 overs in this series, the other seven bowlers England have used have only got through another 354. And while Root was confident both were fit, he was cagey about whether that meant they would both play. “You never want to go into a Test match playing someone under risk of injury.”

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