Lancashire’s Jos Buttler returns as England name squad for first Pakistan Test match

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler’s stunning Indian Premier League form has seen him recalled to the England Test squad for the first time in nearly 18 months.

The Lancashire wicketkeeper-batsman looks set to slot in at number seven for the game against Pakistan that starts at Lord’s on Thursday, May 24.

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

The 12-man party includes Lancashire’s Jimmy Anderson while there is also a first call-up for 20-year-old Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess.

Buttler has not been part of a Test match squad since playing in the fifth Test against India in Chennai back in December 2016.

He is yet to play first-class cricket for the Red Rose this summer as he has been playing for the Rajasthan Royals - hitting five straight half centuries after being promoted to open the batting in the IPL.

“Jos Buttler is an outstanding talent who is already a central part of England’s white ball teams,” said new national selector Ed Smith.

“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.”

Bess has played 16 first-class matches and benefits from county team mate Jack Leach suffering a broken thumb.

“Dom Bess has made an excellent start to his first-class career,” said Smith.

“He has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and when he has been given opportunities with England representative teams.

“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.”

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