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Jos Buttler, Dom Bess earn England calls; James Vince dropped

Sport Desk |
Inserted: 15:32, Thursday 17 May 2018

Jos Buttler, Dom Bess earn England calls; James Vince dropped - Sport
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Jos Buttler has earned a surprise recall to England's Test team at the expense of James Vince, while the Somerset spinner, Dominic Bess, was the beneficiary of his team-mate Jack Leach's misfortune, as the new national selector, Ed Smith, unveiled his squad for next week's first Test against Pakistan, reports cricinfo.

Buttler, who has not played red-ball cricket for England since the tour of India in November and December 2016, has found a rich vein of form for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL this month, with a tournament-record five consecutive half-centuries, including unbeaten scores of 95 and 94 in his last two innings.

"Jos Buttler is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white-ball teams," Smith said. "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 will return to the middle order, with Jonny Bairstow retaining the wicketkeeper's role and moving up the order, meaning Vince is fall guy after a winter of false dawns, in spite of a timely Championship double-century for Hampshire against Somerset on Monday. Joe Root will bat at No.3 with Dawid Malan at No. 4.

Bess, meanwhile, has leapfrogged to the front of England's spinning options, in the wake of a cruel injury for Leach in the nets at Taunton next week. A fractured left thumb means he will be out of action for both Pakistan Tests, and so will be unable to back up the promise he showed on Test debut in Christchurch last month. Moeen Ali was dropped for the final Test in New Zealand and has played no red-ball cricket since due to his spell at the IPL.

Chris Woakes and Mark Wood, who was recalled in Christchurch, will compete for the final fast-bowling spot while Mark Stoneman has retained his place at the top of the order despite a lean start to the season. He had faced pressure from an in-form Nick Gubbins.

Meanwhile, Malan and Tom Curran have been awarded incremental contracts based on their performances in the 2017-18 period. Malan was one of the few successes in the Ashes while Curran became a regular part of the one-day side.

England squad for first Test v Pakistan

Joe Root (capt), Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood



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