England selectors on Tuesday gave a surprise recall to explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler to the Test squad for the first Test against Pakistan at Lords, starting on May 24.
Buttler, who is currently impressing for Rajasthan Royals at the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), is expected to play as a specialist batsman at number seven. He has not played Test cricket since England’s Test against India in Chennai in December 2016. Also in the squad is Mark Wood, who left the IPL early in order to push his claim for a place in England’s Test side.
England’s new national selector Ed Smith has also called up uncapped off-spinner Dom Bess following an injury to his Somerset spin twin Jack Leach, who played in the side’s previous Test against New Zealand. Bess, 20, has an average of 22.49 from 16 first-class games. Meanwhile, James Vince has been dropped from the squad despite a double hundred for Hampshire on Monday, while opener Mark Stoneman retained his place.
Also out of Rajasthan Royals’ squad is their all-rounder Ben Stokes. The English all-rounder, who was bought for a whooping 12.50cr INR, has had a disappointing tenure thus far with both ball and bat. In 13 games Stokes has registered just 196 runs, while has picked just 8 wickets at an economy of 8.18. Buttler, on the other hand, was firing all cylinders, smashing 548 runs in 13 games at 54.80.
Commenting on the squad, Smith said: “Jos Buttler 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 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.