England announces 12-man squad for first test match against Pakistan

Jos Buttler's last Test appearance came in Chennai in December 2016

Jos Buttler's last Test appearance came in Chennai in December 2016

Jos Buttler was today handed a recall to Test cricket 18 months after his last appearance in a bold and imaginative first move by new national selector Ed Smith.

But he has not played first-class cricket for Lancashire, his English county, since the end of last season.

Somerset spinner Dominic Bess is also included in the squad as a replacement for his injured county teammate Jack Leach, with Moeen Ali overlooked following a torrid winter in Australia.

Jonny Bairstow is however set to keep the gloves for England's opening game of the summer.

He is the better keeper but having Buttler back in the frame does at least give England an alternative if match conditions require Bairstow to rest from one discipline. But Smith is confident Buttler's recent good form in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League ccan be carried into the Test arena.


Twenty-year-old Bess has played 16 first-class matches and was impressive in the Champion County match for the MCC against Essex in March, where he took eight wickets in the match and scored a valuable century.

England squad for first TestAlastair 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.

The 20-year-old Bess is likely to make his worldwide debut at the Home of Cricket after Leach's unfortunate injury. The selection panel feels that it is the ideal moment to reintroduce Jos to Test cricket where he has already enjoyed some success. 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.

"With Jack Leach missing out due to injury, the selection panel wanted to invest opportunity in a young spin bowler", Smith said in a statement on the England and Wales Cricket Board website.

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

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