Jos Buttler out of final Ashes Test as England sweat on Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow

By Matthew Cooper

Jos Buttler will miss the final Ashes Test in Hobart after fracturing his finger while keeping wicket during the fourth Test.

Buttler took a blow on his left index finger on day two and was sent for an x-ray, with substitute fielder Ollie Pope forced to keep wicket in Australia 's second innings.

Buttler did bravely come out and bat on day five and survived for 38 balls, an incredibly gutsy effort which helped England secure a draw and avoid the prospect of a 5-0 whitewash.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Joe Root confirmed that Buttler's injury had ruled him out of the final Test.

"Jos Buttler's going to be going home," Root said. "It's quite a bad injury, so it's a real disappointment and a shame for him and the team.

Jos Buttler injured his hand while keeping wicket (Jason McCawley - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

"It's part and parcel of playing Test cricket, sometimes you've got to take these things.

"The way he stood up throughout the rest of the game having taken that [blow] is testament to his character and how much he cares about playing for this team."

Kent's Sam Billings is in line to replace Buttler in Hobart, having been drafted into the squad from the Big Bash League as cover, although assistant coach Graham Thorpe did admit Pope could fill in behind stumps once more.

England could also be without star all-rounder Ben Stokes and first-innings centurion Jonny Bairstow, who also sustained injuries during this Test.

Stokes picked up a side strain while bowling and was in visible pain as he scored half-centuries in both innings.

Bairstow took a blow on the thumb during his first-innings ton and, like Stokes, came out and faced over 100 balls in the second innings.

England face a nervous wait over the pair's fitness ahead of the fifth Test and it remains to be seen whether they will be deemed fit enough to play.


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