Jos Buttler last played for England in Tests against India in 2016. (Source: Express Archive)
England announced the Test squad for Pakistan series on Tuesday and the selectors have called back all-rounder Ben Stokes and in-form wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler for the two-match series scheduled to begin from May 24 at Lord’s. Both Stokes and Buttler are presently playing for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. If RR manages to make it through to the play-offs, the two players might miss the matches as they would join the national squad.
Stokes was earlier dropped from the side for the Ashes series after the Bristol nightclub brawl. Though he was later found not guilty in the incident. Buttler on the other side last played for England in Tests in 2016 and was later ignored from the Ashes squad. Buttler has been in sublime form in the IPL 2018 as he has so far accumulated 509 runs in 13 matches at an average of 56.55. He scored unbeaten 95 and 94 against CSK and Mumbai Indians respectively in his last two appearances.
The team would be led by Joe Root while Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman will most probably open the innings for them. Interestingly, the English selectors have roped in Jonny Bairstow as well and they will have to make a choice between Buttler and him for performing the duties behind the stumps. They have also included Somerset player Dominic Bess.
In the fast bowling department, the selectors have made an obvious choice in picking James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Pakistan had announced their squad earlier and Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the team.
England Squad: Mark Stoneman, Alastair Cook, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Mark Wood
Pakistan Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed(c), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf