England name squad for first Test against Pakistan

Jos Buttler has been in stellar form for Rajasthan Royals in Indian Premier League 2018

Buttler is now playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League, where his last three scores have been 95, 94 and 81.

Jos Buttler and Dom Bess are the standout names in the first squad picked by Ed Smith, England's new head selector, for the opening Test in the series against Pakistan next week.

"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..."

Buttler has already played three Tests as a specialist batsman, since he lost the Test gloves to Jonny Bairstow.

Surrey batsman Stoneman has shown glimpses of his potential in 10 Test matches without registering a substantial score.

James Vince has not been included in the 12-man squad following his disappointing Ashes series.

"The message to Jos from everyone around the table was to play his way, to play with the confidence and the flair that he's capable of batting with and the skill and the decision making".

Bess, 20, has an average of 22.49 from 16 first-class games.


England face Pakistan in the first Test at Lord's starting on May 24, before the second encounter at Headingley from June 1.

But there is no place for James Vince even though he made an unbeaten double century for Hampshire against Somerset on Monday.

Buttler's last Test came against India 18 months ago and averages 31.36 from his 18 appearances in the longest format to date. However, he did fare a lot better against New Zealand. "Dom Bess has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and when he has been given opportunities with England representative teams", Smith added.

The last place will be between Chris Woakes, who was dropped for the last Test of England's chastening winter in New Zealand, and Mark Wood, who returned to form in the championship with Durham over the weekend.

'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'.

Buttler's return, to bat at number seven, will excite many in a line-up which will see captain Joe Root voluntarily move back up to three, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow delighted at a promotion to five and Mark Stoneman hang on to his opener's slot.

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