Jos Buttler to Miss Cardiff T20I for Paternity Leave: Moeen Ali to Step In

Jos Buttler, who recently top-scored with 84 off 51 balls in the second T20I against Pakistan, will miss the third T20I on paternity leave.

Moeen will fill in, but the skipper is anticipated to go for the World Cup on Friday as scheduled. After leading England to a 23-run victory at Edgbaston on Saturday, which gave them a 1-0 lead in the four-match series after the initial game at Leeds was abandoned, Buttler left for London. He is soon to give birth to their third kid with his wife Louise.

Jos Buttler to Miss Cardiff T20I for Paternity Leave: Moeen Ali to Step In

He did not show up for the Cardiff training session on Monday afternoon, and it is thought that he will not play in Tuesday’s fixture. It is now unclear if he will make it back in time to participate in Thursday night’s series finale at The Oval, but it looks like he will be heading to the Caribbean on Friday to play in the T20 World Cup alongside the rest of the team.

Although the news will cause some short-term disruption for England, Buttler’s absence should guarantee that he is part of the team for the duration of their World Cup campaign, which starts against Scotland on Tuesday, June 4 in Barbados. It was possible that he might miss a group-stage match because he had previously stated that he would be present at the birth.

England’s vice-captain, Moeen Ali, downplayed the importance of a change in leadership last week. “Obviously if it happens, then it’s a great honour – as it always is,” Moeen stated. “I’ll be alright. Nothing much will change—it’s just a matter of taking over from his work and he’ll take it again when he returns.

“Hopefully, the baby arrives when it won’t cause him to miss too many games. I simply accept that whatever occurs, will occur. To be honest with you, [deputising] is not that tough because Jos and I talk a lot. We discuss the team, other topics, and other things. Regardless, we are in agreement.”

Buttler opened the batting and struck 84 off 51 balls, providing the foundation for England’s innings at Edgbaston on Saturday. Ben Duckett would bat at No. 4 in his absence, while Will Jacks and Jonny Bairstow would presumably go up a slot each. However, they could also add Sam Curran, a bowling all-rounder, to their lineup.

A case may also be made for Duckett to take Buttler’s place at the top of the order, allowing England’s first-choice batting lineup to bat as they probably will during the World Cup. Despite opening for the majority of his T20 career, Jacks said on Monday that he is still “learning on the job” despite looking impressive on Saturday, smashing 37 off 23 balls from No. 3.

“It’s no lie that I’m new to batting at No. 3,” he stated. “The most challenging thing I’ve encountered is the unpredictability of not knowing when I’ll bat first or second. If I’m opening, it’s always 0 for 0. I am facing the swinging ball, or if it’s a spinner opening, I know what the field will be. I know precisely what’s going to happen.

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“[Batting at No. 3] is more of a cerebral exercise because every time you bat, the scenario changes. I’m confident that I have the strategy and the game. All it takes is getting used to entering the fifth over after leaving the Powerplay: when should I step on the gas? It’s about timing things perfectly and knowing what needs to be done. It is all about the group, not the individual.

Before the play on Saturday, Mark Wood, whose knee was severely bandaged, had a lengthy bowl. If England decide to be cautious with Jofra Archer’s fitness after his international return, Mark Wood may be considered for the Cardiff match. England will not include Tom Hartley in this match, even though they would like to give him his T20I debut before the World Cup.

The weather is threatening to cancel Tuesday night’s match, but Jacks said that it could be a good idea to play an abbreviated version of the game as a warm-up for the World Cup. “Preparation is not always ideal, but we have to be adaptable and T20 is all about thinking fast on your feet, and assessing the situation as quickly as possible,” he stated. “We’ll be ready for anything.”

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