Buttler recalled to England Test squad

Jos Buttler looks up while holding cricket bat

JOS BUTTLER has been handed a surprise recall to the England team after new national selector Ed Smith announced his own arrival by revealing a new-look batting order.

Bess, 20, replaces Somerset team-mate and left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who broke a thumb on Monday.

It is a move that should be applauded as England are not good enough in Test cricket now after a barren winter to ignore someone as talented as Buttler, who will play as a specialist batsman with Jonny Bairstow keeping the gloves.

The 27-year-old is now plying his trade for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, where he has been in fine nick, scoring five consecutive 50s.

But, after England's tour series losses in Australia and New Zealand, top-order batsman James Vince was dropped after a run of low scores at Test level despite the Hampshire batsman making an unbeaten 201 against Somerset on Monday.

"Jos Buttler is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white ball teams", said Smith in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement.

Buttler returns to the squad for the first time since December 2016 after a series of impressive knocks in the Indian Premier League, including a record-equalling fifth consecutive half-century for the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

Bess has taken 63 wickets in 16 first-class games at an average of just more than 22.

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.

"The selection panel feels that this is the flawless 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", Smith added.

Speaking about Bess, Smith said: "Dom Bess has made an excellent start to his first-class career". We felt that a player of his unique gifts - as a destructive batsman, fantastic competitive presence, dynamic athlete, someone who has leadership skills innate in him, who is playing with such confidence and flair - this was the right time'.

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