Jos Buttler has been handed a surprise recall to England’s Test team for the first Test against Pakistan, according to The Telegraph.
Reports suggest new national selector Ed Smith is set to name Buttler at No.7 while Jonny Bairstow could still retain the wicketkeeping gloves.
Buttler lost his role as keeper-batsman to Bairstow in the UAE in 2015/16 and last played a Test in 2016 in Chennai – as a specialist No.7 batsman.
Buttler has been in sensational form for Rajasthan Royals in this year’s IPL, where he has made scores of 94* and 95* in his last two innings at the top of the order.
While Bairstow played as a specialist batsman at the beginning of his Test career, scoring 753 runs as 28.96, it is as a long-term, first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman since 2015 that he has flourished with the bat. His Test batting record as wicketkeeper is 2,540 runs at 43.79.
The full announcement, which will include decisions on England’s top-order batsmen and spinner, is to be announced at 3pm.