Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

England name squad for first Test against Pakistan

How Jos Buttler's England recall will affect the Indian Premier League Jos Buttler is enjoying a superb run in the IPL
Kristopher Love | 16 May, 2018, 12:30

Dom Bess wasn't sure who was calling him when a number flashed up on his phone - it turned out to be Ed Smith, the new national selector, saying he was in England's squad to face Pakistan.

The fall guy is James Vince, left out because he needs to make more runs with the undoubted talent he has according to Smith - while Bess' opportunity comes after his fellow Somerset spinner Jack Leach cruelly broke his thumb in the nets on the eve of the selection meeting.

He has not played Test cricket since England's Test against India in Chennai in December 2016.

Vince averaged 26.88 against the Baggy Greens and, but averaged 47 in the one Test he played against the Black Caps, in which he scored an encouraging 76. Yet Smith thinks that Buttler, a player capable of such brilliance with the white ball as he has showed of late for the Royals with consecutive scores of 94 not out, 95 not out, 82, 51 and 67, has something to offer at Test level.

Ben Stokes though cleared that he gave all he had during this period for his team and was thankful for everyone at the Royals franchise who supported and played with him during his stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL). They were included in the England Test squad for the series against Pakistan and were asked to report by May 17 by the cricket board.

Of the moment he got the call from England's new selector Ed Smith, 20-year-old Bess said: 'I was actually in Ikea shopping with my girlfriend.

Jos Buttler has been handed a surprise recall to the England Test team, 18 months after his last appearance. "With Jack Leach missing out, 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'.

Mark Stoneman may count himself fortunate to have kept his place after a similarly inconsistent winter in Australia and New Zealand.

England 12-man squad to play Pakistan in the first Test at Lord's, May 24-28: Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire, wkt), Dom Bess (Somerset), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

Of the bad luck befalling Leach, who made his Test debut at the end of England's winter tour, he said: 'I was really gutted for Leachy.

England also announced that Malan and Curran have been awarded incremental contracts after accumulating enough worldwide appearances during the 2017/18 contract year.