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Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow in contention for fifth Ashes Test'

Root: 'Stokes, Bairstow in contention for fifth Test'
© Reuters
Captain Joe Root suggests that England duo Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow could still feature in the fifth Ashes Test despite carrying injuries.

England captain Joe Root has suggested that Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow remain in contention to feature in the fifth Ashes Test.

While England claimed a spirited draw in the fourth Test, it came at a cost with Stokes, Bairstow and Jos Buttler all suffering injuries, the latter already travelling home with a broken finger.

However, despite carrying a side strain and hand injury respectively, Stokes and Bairstow may feature in the team as batsmen, rather than as an all-rounder and wicket-keeper.

Root is quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "We've got to just see where they're at. We have to see what their bodies can handle and then assess everyone.

"You certainly can pick Ben just as a bat and similarly Jonny as well - he's been playing as a batter anyway."

Sam Billings, who has recently linked up with the squad, or Ollie Pope are competing to take the spot of Buttler behind the stumps.

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Jos Buttler pictured on August 26, 2021
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