England have announced their squad for the First Test against Pakistan at Lord's next week and there are a couple of surprises in the ranks as James Vince has been dropped despite scoring a double-hundred in County Cricket and Jos Buttler returns to the fold following his recent heroics in the Indian Premier League.
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.
That meant the stints of Buttler and Stokes, both of whom represent Rajasthan Royals, in the ongoing IPL are over.
England's new national selector Smith believes it is "the ideal moment" to reintroduce Buttler to Test cricket.
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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.
But he has not played first-class cricket for Lancashire, his English county, since the end of last season.
There was also a potential debut for Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess.
"Jos Buttler is an outstanding talent, who is already a central part of England's white ball teams", said Smith.
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Bess has taken 63 wickets in 16 first-class games at an average of just more than 22.
The 20-year-old Bess is likely to make his worldwide debut at the Home of Cricket after Leach's unfortunate injury. The selection panel feels that it is the ideal moment to reintroduce Jos to Test cricket where he has already enjoyed some success. 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'.
England squad for first TestAlastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (capt), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Dominic Bess.
"Dom's strong form, character and all-round abilities presented a compelling case for selection", Smith said.
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