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Jos Buttler to miss England’s next T20 against Pakistan – and so could Jofra Archer

Jos Buttler catches a ball
Jos Buttler has returned to be with his wife - Reuters/Ed Sykes

Jos Buttler will miss England’s Twenty20 clash with Pakistan to be with his wife, who is expecting a baby.

The England white-ball captain travelled home after England’s win in Birmingham on Saturday to be with his wife, Louise, and present at the birth of their third child. With Buttler absent, vice-captain Moeen Ali will lead the side in the third match of the series, which England lead 1-0.

Buttler’s absence will create a vacancy at the top of the order, with Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook all candidates to open alongside Phil Salt. Either Salt or Bairstow will take Buttler’s normal position as wicketkeeper, with Salt the favourite.

It is hoped that Buttler will return for Thursday’s T20 clash with Pakistan at the Oval, England’s final game before their T20 World Cup opener against Scotland in Barbados next Tuesday.

While rain is forecast in Cardiff, several players who did not feature in Birmingham could get opportunities as England gear up for the T20 World Cup.

Jofra Archer is expected to be rested, with England keenly monitoring his fitness after his return from injury. In his first England match for 14 months, Archer took 2-28 at Edgbaston, responding impressively to his first over being hit for 15. Archer did not bowl seam in the nets at Sophia Gardens, instead bowling left-arm spin. Mark Wood is likely to feature in his place. Reece Topley could also be rested.

Jofra Archer bowling
Jofra Archer returned to England action at the weekend and impressed

Tom Hartley, the left-arm spinner, has yet to make his international debut in the format. But it could be difficult to accommodate Hartley alongside Adil Rashid, the side’s first-choice spinner. Rashid’s 1-25 on Saturday was his first bowl in a professional match since February, and England might be keen to give him more overs before the T20 World Cup.

Jacks, who scored 37 on Saturday, said that he is still adjusting to a new role at No 3 after spending the bulk of his career opening. The Surrey right-hander only averages 18.2 in 12 T20Is, but scored a 41-ball century in the recent Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

“I’m new to batting No 3, I’m learning on the job,” Jacks said. “The biggest thing I’ve found is just the uncertainty of not knowing when I’m going in.

“It’s more of mental thing - I know I’ve got the game and the technique it’s just adjusting to coming in outside the powerplay, coming in the fifth over - when do I put my foot on the pedal? It’s just figuring out what I need to do at the right time, which is the chats we’ve had. It’s all about the team not about yourself, you’ve got to work out how to win the game for the team and that’s all around how I build my innings.”

Will Jacks of England bowls during a net session
Will Jacks is still adjusting to a new role at No 3 - Getty Images/Dan Mullan

Jacks took confidence from his century against Gujarat Titans in the IPL. “It was not a sense of proving anything to myself because I knew I could do it, but I think to come through the innings in that I was struggling early on and then come out the other side and be unbeaten in a chase, is something that we all want to do as batsmen. I was really proud of the way I stayed in the partnership, didn’t throw it away, and I kind of proved to myself I can do it at No 3.”

In his first IPL season, Jacks worked alongside Virat Kohli. For all the benefits of batting together with Kohli, Jacks was particularly struck by his professionalism and work ethic.

“He’s a very good role model, the way he approaches all the training and every aspect of the game off the field, his intensity, everything he does is 100 per cent,” Jacks said.

“He’s done it for such a long time and I can appreciate that as a young guy who often doesn’t want to do the hard yards, but you see him doing it and want to copy that. On the field, his preparation and his understanding of the game is amazing.

“When we were batting together, he was coaching me through there and I learned some valuable things about chasing in that innings and pacing the game which was really helpful.”

Probable team

Salt (wk), Bairstow, Jacks, Duckett, Brook, Moeen (c), Livingstone, Curran, Jordan, Rashid, Wood

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