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England first Test squad ahead of Pakistan series

England first Test squad ahead of Pakistan series
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London (UNN):  England have announced their first squad of the summer, with Jos Buttler a surprise inclusion. Buttler, who is currently playing in the Indian Premier League with Rajasthan Royals, has not played a Test for England in 18 months. But his recent form has been enough to convince Ed Smith, England’s new national selector, to name him in the squad for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s.  Keep delivering Less than two months ago, New Zealand inflicted a historic series win over an England side that had already lost the Ashes over the winter. Inconsistent performances have seen Joe Root’s side drop to fifth in the official ICC Test rankings, while their upcoming opponents Pakistan are down in seventh. Alastair Cook, England’s leading run scorer, has retained a place in the squad and will open the batting alongside Mark Stoneman. Surrey batsman Stoneman has shown glimpses of his potential in 10 Test matches without registering a substantial score. Smith has shown faith in Cook, 33, despite his struggles against New Zealand and Australia – he scored just 23 runs in four innings against the Black Caps following a frustrating Ashes campaign. Captain Root, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes will make up the remainder of England’s top-order as James Vince is dropped. Somerset spinner Dom Bess, meanwhile, makes his first England squad.  At 35 and 31 respectively, James Anderson and Stuart Broad appear to be coming to the end of their international careers but will lead the attack again at the start of this English summer. National Selector Smith said: ‘Dom Bess has made an excellent start to his first-class career. ‘He has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and when he has been given opportunities with England representative teams. ‘With Jack Leach missing out due to injury, 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.’ On Buttler’s inclusion, he said: ‘He is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England’s white ball teams. ‘The selection panel feels that this is the perfect 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. ‘Jos is playing with great confidence and flair, and he will bring unique qualities to the Test team.’

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