Buttler gets test recall by England after 17-month absence

Rajasthan Royals Jos Buttler, celebrates after his team won their match against the Mumbai Indians at the VIVO IPL cricket T20 match against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, India, Sunday, May 13, 2018 . (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Rajasthan Royals Jos Buttler bats during the VIVO IPL cricket T20 match against the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, India, Sunday, May 13, 2018 . (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

LONDON — Jos Buttler has been recalled to England's test squad after a 17-month absence for the first test against Pakistan, despite having not played red-ball cricket since last year.

Butter is set to be a specialist batsman, with Jonny Bairstow also included in a 12-man group and expected to play as wicketkeeper.

Dom Bess, a 20-year-old offspinner, was handed his first call-up by England after a thumb injury ruled out Jack Leach, with Moeen Ali continuing to be overlooked. Bess has played only 16 first-class matches.

It is the latest chapter in a turbulent test career for limited-overs specialist Buttler, who has played 18 times since his debut against India in July 2014. His last test appearance was also against India, in December 2016.

He has been in good form in the Indian Premier League with the Rajasthan Royals.

"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 No. 7," said national selector Ed Smith, who was picking his first squad.

"Jos is playing with great confidence and flair, and he will bring unique qualities to the test team."

On Bess, Smith said: "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."

Opener Mark Stoneman was retained as Alastair Cook's partner, despite his struggles for Surrey in the County Championship.

The first test at Lord's starts on May 24. The second test takes place at Headingley from June 1.

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England: James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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