England recall Buttler for first Pakistan Test

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LONDON: England recalled batsman Jos Buttler in a 12-man squad announced Tuesday for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s on May 24.

In the first England squad since former Test batsman Ed Smith took over as national selector, Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess was given a first call-up.

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.

Buttler, widely regarded as one of the most talented English batsmen of his generation, last played Test cricket when he batted down the order.

The 27-year-old has had a frustrating 18-match career in Test cricket, with his last appearance in the format against India at Chennai in December 2016.

Having made an impact at international level as a wicket-keeper/batsman, Buttler has been selected for the first of a two-Test series against Pakistan purely as a batsman.

Jonny Bairstow, who succeeded Buttler as England’s Test keeper, has retained his place behind the stumps having become a mainstay of skipper Joe Root’s side with both bat and gloves.

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

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