Thursday, 15 November, 2018

England announces 12-man squad for first test match against Pakistan

Jos Buttler Jos Buttler averages 31.36 in 18 Tests for England since making his debut in 2014
Shannon Reynolds | 16 May, 2018, 07:38

Somerset spinner Dom Bess has also been included for the first time while Lancashire's Jimmy Anderson is also in the twelve.

Buttler, arguably England's most gifted cricketer, will play against Pakistan at Lord's next week even though he has not played any red-ball cricket since the end of last season.

On Buttler's inclusion, he said: 'He is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white ball teams.

The 20-year-old Bess is likely to make his worldwide debut at the Home of Cricket after Leach's unfortunate injury. 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'.

James Vince, who batted at three for England over the winter, misses out. They could have selected Moeen, a veteran of 50 Test matches and now playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, as the spin bowling option in the squad.

Smith said: "Dom Bess has made an excellent start to his first-class career".

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He will return to the middle order, with Jonny Bairstow retaining the wicketkeeper's role and moving up the order, meaning Vince is fall guy after a winter of false dawns, in spite of a timely Championship double-century for Hampshire against Somerset on Monday. "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'.

Buttler's last Test came against India 18 months ago and averages 31.36 from his 18 appearances in the longest format to date.

Surrey's Mark Stoneman has survived despite having yet to reach 30 in seven innings this summer - he averaged 40 on England's tour to New Zealand. Despite that, the selectors have chose to stick with him, at least for now, despite an average of just 30.17 from ten Test matches.

Cook, Stoneman, Malan, Root (captain), Stokes, Bairstow (keeper), Buttler, Woakes, Broad, Bess, Anderson, Wood.

Meanwhile, Malan and Tom Curran have been awarded incremental contracts based on their performances in the 2017-18 period.

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