England vs Pakistan: England skipper Eoin Morgan confirmed the unavailability of two vital players for the side against Pakistan. Wicket-keeper batsman Joss Buttler and all-rounder Ben Stokes won’t be available for the T20I series, Morgan confirmed on Monday.
Buttler featured in the white-ball series against Sri Lanka and only managed to play the first T20I match before incurring a tear in the calf. Due to that, he missed the rest of the white-ball series including two T20Is and three ODIs.
And now he is all set to miss the entire limited-overs series against Pakistan starting July 8.
Stokes too missed the Sri Lanka series as he was still recovering from the finger injury sustained Rajasthan Royal’s first game in IPL 2021.
“There’s always a fine balance between looking at the here-and-now and planning towards the T20 World Cup, also bearing in mind that those two guys are all-format players so they will probably go Down Under and play in the Ashes as well. Trying to balance that along with trying to get the best squad out can be difficult at times, but I think at the moment we’re spoiled for choice,” Morgan told ESPN CricInfo.
“From what I’m hearing, calves can be quite temperamental — it just depends on how Buttler feels. In a similar instance to Ben, the priority wouldn’t be to get him back as soon as possible if there’s a 50-50 chance. I know he progressed his running a couple of days ago and does feel good, but things can change,” the skipper added.
Stokes has been an absentee in the national team for quite some time. Although he played in the county cricket post his injury, ECB is still not willing to take any risks of bringing him back until he recovers completely.
“The last thing we want to do is rush somebody back and jump with the level of intensity from county cricket to international when there isn’t necessarily a need. We are happy for Ben to progress as he sees fit, and obviously have one eye on the Test series as well.” Morgan stated.
England vs Pakistan series schedule:
England and Pakistan will engage in three-match ODI series, followed by as many T20Is. The ODI series will begin on July 8 (Thursday) at Sophia Gardens. The third ODI match will take place at Edgbaston with a crowd capacity of 80 %, the ECB had confirmed.