Buttler back for England service as Bess gets debut call

Jos Buttler has made a surprise return to England’s Test squad at the expense of James Vince

Jos Buttler has made a surprise return to England’s Test squad at the expense of James Vince

The 27-year-old is now playing some of his best cricket in the Indian Premier League.

With Jonny Bairstow to don the wicketkeeper's gloves, Buttler has been selected as a specialist batsman, a reward for his terrific run in this IPL where he smashed five half-centuries in a row.

"The first thing we talked about as a selection panel - and it coincided with one of my first trains of thought coming into the job - was how could we..."

Jos Buttler hit six boundaries in an over for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL on the day he was recalled to England's Test squad.

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He is the beneficiary of county team-mate Jack Leach's untimely broken thumb - suffered on Monday - and must have a good chance of getting his chance at Lord's.

When the England squad for the 1st Test against Pakistan Test was announced on Tuesday, Buttler and Dom Bess were new inclusions in the side.

Yet Bess's strong showing for the Lions in his solitary appearance on their tour of the Caribbean earlier this year, taking 5-88 in the final match, and his impressive first-class record - 63 wickets in 16 matches at an average of 22.49 - since making his debut for Somerset - ironically against Pakistan - in 2016 has seen him get the nod.

Jos Buttler was rewarded for his stellar performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League with a return to England's Test squad at the expense of James Vince.

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Captain Root, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes will make up the remainder of England's top-order as James Vince is dropped.

Buttler has not been part of a Test match squad since playing in the fifth Test against India in Chennai back in December 2016. There was also a potential debut for Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess.

Of the moment he got the call from England's new selector Ed Smith, 20-year-old Bess said: 'I was actually in Ikea shopping with my girlfriend. He has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and England representative teams. The selection panel feels that this is the ideal 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.

Smith said: 'With Jack Leach missing out through injury, the selection panel wanted to invest opportunity in a young spin bowler. Aesthetically pleasing at the crease, Vince struggled to back up his obvious quality with significant numbers - he has now played 22 Test match innings and averages a disappointing 24.90 after enduring a hard time of it during the Ashes series against Australia in the winter.

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