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

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

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 of the end of last season.

Jos Buttler was today handed a recall to Test cricket 18 months after his last appearance in a bold and imaginative first move by new national selector Ed Smith.

The 27-year-old Buttler is a mainstay of the one-day and Twenty20 sides but played the last of his 18 Tests in India during England's 4-0 series defeat in 2016 and is still searching for a maiden Test century.

The final place is likely to lie between Chris Woakes, with his extra batting, and Mark Wood, with his extra pace.

The England squad also features Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess, who was given a first call-up.

With Jonny Bairstow to don the wicketkeeper's gloves, Buttler has been selected as a specialist batsman, a reward for his terrific run in this IPL where he smashed five half-centuries in a row.

Alastair Cook, England's leading runscorer, has retained a place in the squad and will open the batting alongside Mark Stoneman.

"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", said Smith.

"With Jack Leach missing out, the selection panel wanted to invest opportunity in a young spin bowler".

"He's become such a complete cricketer in the white-ball form of the game and we felt it was the ideal opportunity to reintroduce him to Test cricket and for him to play his full expressive way in the Test arena as well". "Dom's strong form, character and all-round abilities presented a compelling case".

Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt), Jimmy 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). 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'.