Saturday 21 July 2018

Buttler back for England service as Bess gets debut call

Jos Buttler has made a surprise return to England’s Test squad at the expense of James Vince. (stock picture)
Jos Buttler has made a surprise return to England’s Test squad at the expense of James Vince. (stock picture)

Dave Clark

Jos Buttler has made a surprise return to England's Test squad at the expense of James Vince.

England's new national selector Ed Smith announced a 12-man squad yesterday to face Pakistan at Lord's next week, in which there is no place for Vince but opener Mark Stoneman hangs on to his position and there is also a potential debut for Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess.

Vince's match-saving, unbeaten double-century for Hampshire on the eve of the selection meeting seemed sure to keep him in the frame, but Smith has been persuaded by Buttler's run of form at the Indian Premier League.

Buttler, who played the last of his previous 18 Tests in December 2016 but is an inked-in white-ball player for his country, will be back as a specialist batsman - with Jonny Bairstow retaining the wicketkeeping gloves.

Bess (20), whose opportunity comes after Somerset team-mate Jack Leach broke his thumb in the nets on Monday, has made just 16 first-class appearances to date.

Impressed

Smith said that the youngster had made an excellent start to his first-class career and added: "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."

Read more: No miracle but fighting Irish make Pakistan work for win

Bess told Sky Sports News: "I was actually in IKEA with my girlfriend. I've just got a new house so we were looking for some sofas and I was having an argument with my missus! A number popped up so my girlfriend said, 'Take it, because you never know what could happen', so I took it and the rest is history. Ed phoned me and it was an amazing moment in IKEA! For me it's just an amazing achievement. I couldn't quite believe it.

"I was really gutted for Leachy. He's worked so hard. Luckily I'm very good mates with him and we work very well at Somerset. But I was focused on trying to bowl us to victory, get us a win yesterday against Hampshire, but I couldn't really think about it to be honest. I was out in the field all day."

Irish Independent

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