Jos Buttler will miss next week’s fourth Test against India at the Oval because of the expected birth of his second child, but Chris Woakes has been passed fit to rejoin the squad, team management announced on Sunday.
Buttler, vice-captain to Joe Root in the ongoing absence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes due to mental health issues, has been short of runs in this campaign, with a highest score of 25. But he has held 18 catches in a five-match series now level at 1-1 after England, with more than a day to spare, won the third Test by an innings and 76 runs at Headingley on Saturday.
Jonny Bairstow, selected purely as a batsman at Headingley, his Yorkshire home ground, will take over the gloves when England and India meet again in London on Thursday.
Bairstow has kept wicket in 48 of his 77 Tests, but it is two years since he has been behind the stumps at this level.