England turn to Bess and Buttler

15 May 2018 10:32:46 EST
Jos Buttler has been handed an England Test recall.

England have recalled Jos Buttler and handed a first call-up to Somerset spinner Dom Bess for the first Test against Pakistan, which starts at Lord's on Thursday May 24th.

Buttler, who has not played any first-class cricket since September last year, returns to the Test fold solely as a batsman and could feature as low as number seven in the order, with Jonny Bairstow retaining the wicketkeeping duties.

Dom's strong form, character and all-round abilities presented a compelling case for selection.

Ed Smith

Meanwhile, 20-year-old off-spinner Bess is handed a call after county colleague Jack Leach was ruled out of the game due to a broken left thumb, while the selectors have also opted against handing a recall to all-rounder Moeen Ali.

The selection of Buttler, who has been in sparkling form at the IPL with the Rajasthan Royals recently, means there is no place for James Vince, despite his double century for Hampshire against Somerset in the County Championship.

At the top of the order Surrey left-hander Mark Stoneman is retained, while Durham fast bowler Mark Wood is also included, as is Warwickshire seamer Chris Woakes.

Explaining the decision to shake things up a little, new National Selector Ed Smith told the official ECB website: "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.

"Jos is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white ball teams.

"The selection panel feels that this is the perfect moment to reintroduce him to Test cricket, where he has already enjoyed some success, including a stint playing as a specialist batsman at number seven."

England's 12-man squad: 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.

Meanwhile, England are available at 9/4 to win the 2019 World Cup on home soil and are 5/1 to triumph at the 2020 World Twenty20, while the Three Lions are 4/5 to win outright the Ashes series against Australia next year.

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