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Sam Billings called up to England Ashes squad



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|| CF DESK ||

Wicketkeeper batter Sam Billings has been added to England's Ashes squad as cover after a series of injuries during the fourth Test in the Ashes series.

The 30-year-old was set to fly back to the UK on Thursday before England's Twenty20 series against West Indies later but had to join the Test squad in Sydney, subject to a period of isolation and a negative Covid-19 Test.

Jos Buttler has received massive criticism for his poor form in the ongoing series. He suffered a finger injury while fielding the previous day, has casted doubt over his ability to keep wicket during Australia’s second innings.

While, Jonny Bairstow suffered a nasty blow to the thumb during his unbeaten century in the fourth Test. All-rounder Ben Stokes also picked up a side injury while bowling.

Bairstow scored 103 not out at the close, having been left in agony after being struck on the thumb by a Cummins delivery during the afternoon.

"I was hurting. But, look, you're playing in a New Year's Test match in Sydney on the pink day, it is going to take a heck of a lot to get you off the field. In some ways, it frees you up, in some ways it doesn't. But at the end of the day, you've still got a job to do. Yes, it will be sore, but at the end of the day you're playing cricket for England and I'm very, very proud to do that," Bairstow said.

When asked about potentially keeping the wickets in Hobart, Bairstow said: “I don’t know as yet, to be really honest with you. I’ll know some more information tomorrow. I’m not sure about the keeping side of things anyway. But from a batting point of view, I’ll be out there in the morning.”