After giving him a surprise return into England's Test team, the National Selector Ed Smith has come out and expressed defense of his selection of Jos Buttler for the red-ball game, again, to play against Pakistan in the first Test of the English summer this year.
The call-up to the squad for the destructive wicketkeeper-batsman comes as a surprise more because of his absence from the county championship, while he has been playing in the Indian Premier League. He has been in terrific form in this year's IPL for Rajasthan Royals.
After selecting the 12 man squad for the Test at Lord's, Ed Smith was quoted saying, “The selection panel felt it was the ideal time to reintroduce Jos to Test cricket, as a player of unique gifts, the way he is playing at the moment, what he brings to the team as a destructive batsman, as a fantastic competitive presence, as a dynamic athlete and as someone who is playing with such confidence and flair, we overwhelmingly felt it was the right time"
“I’m fully aware he hasn’t played a red-ball match since the back end of last season. The decision has been made with eyes wide open. We feel it is the right thing, at the right time with the right player. Jos playing as he can play, his way, has the potential to be a really positive force in Test cricket. The batting ability he has, not just power but touch, finesse and the way his decision-making has evolved is something we’re very excited about.”
The selectors cleared that Captain Joe Root will bat at no.3 and Johny Bairstow will be wearing the gloves to do the wicketkeeping duties. The squad didn't have a place for James Vince, the middle order batsman.
Smith further added about the selection and said, "Vince was considered to bat where he usually bats at No3 or No4 and the decision went against him. In terms of his future, James Vince playing well is a terrific player to watch. When he plays well, boy does he look a Test player. However, James has played 13 Tests and averages 24 but there is a bigger picture than that with him. In his cricketing history, he has not produced the runs he should have done and not defined enough matches in a way a batsman of his ability should"
“In the last couple of days [against Somerset] he has done exactly that. If he can bat in that manner with all the other things he can do then the door is not closed on him.”
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