England have recalled wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler and called up uncapped off-spinner Dom Bess for the first Test against Pakistan, starting at Lord’s on May 24.
Buttler, 27, has not featured in first-class cricket this season. Nonetheless, he has been in rich vein of form in the ongoing Indian Premier League, having made a record five consecutive fifties. Hampshire batsman James Vince and all-rounder Moeen Ali didn’t find a place in the 12-member squad selected by new National Selector, Ed Smith.
"Jos Buttler is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white-ball teams," Smith quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
"The selection panel feels that this is the perfect moment to reintroduce Jos to Test cricket, where he has already enjoyed some success, including a stint playing as a specialist batsman at number seven. Jos is playing with great confidence and flair, and he will bring unique qualities to the Test team," he added.
Selecting Bess is certainly a bold move by Smith. They could have easily opted for the 50 Tests veteran Moeen Ali, who has done exceedingly well in the previous English summer against South Africa.
"Dom Bess has made an excellent start to his first-class career. He has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and when he has been given opportunities with England representative teams. With Jack Leach missing out due to injury, the selection panel wanted to invest opportunity in a young spin bowler. Dom's strong form, character and all-round abilities presented a compelling case for selection," Smith asserted.
While opener Mark Stoneman keeps his place in the team, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood will complete the final fast-bowling spot.
England squad for the first Test against Pakistan:
Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (capt), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Dominic Bess.