Nasser Hussain is spot on about Jos Buttler's England call-up

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Football News

Rarely is an England squad announced without prompting at least the slightest raise of an eyebrow.

The upcoming series against Pakistan has given new national selector Ed Smith his first opportunity to state his intent and he has done so emphatically with a few surprise moves.

It was expected that Mark Stoneman would make way, yet he has remained. Days after James Vince made a double-century in the County Championship, the Hampshire batsman has paid the price for his poor winter at international level.

Uncapped off-spinner Dominic Bess has profited from Jack Leach's injury, but the biggest talking point has proved the return of Jos Buttler.

Whereas the likes of Keaton Jennings and Rory Burns might count themselves unlucky not to be included on the merits of their exploits in the four-day game, it appears the answer to that puzzle is very clear: England's selectors were too busy watching the IPL.

On the sub-continent, Buttler has dazzled. Only on Tuesday, he hit six boundaries in an over during Rajasthan Royals' defeat to the Kolkata Knight Riders.

It is unprecedented for a Test player to be picked because of their T20 form; frankly, on the back of some of England's recent collapses, the last thing this side needs is another batsman playing as though he were in a limited-overs game.

However, there is another argument that the 27-year-old, who hasn't played red-ball cricket since September, is simply too good to leave out.

Hussain has had his say 

That's the view of Nasser Hussain, at least. Speaking ahead of Nottinghamshire's Royal London One-Day Cup opener against Lancashire, the former England captain told Sky Sports:

"I agree with the selection of Buttler in as much as you give certain people that extra yard, that extra chance, when they are freak cricketers.

"We travel the world and Buttler plays, albeit in white-ball cricket, he goes and smashed it everywhere, and people say 'this lad can play'.

"I think with people like that who are special, who are talented, it's better to give them one or two chances too many, than one or two too few and then he can prove you right or wrong.

"His stats aren't great. He averages 31 in first-class cricket and he's played at two venues, Taunton - flat - and this place [Trent Bridge], very flat, so he hasn't cracked red-ball cricket.

"If he does crack red-ball cricket, he could be an absolute phenomenon."

Buttler was dropped from England's Test side 18 months ago after the tour of India but has never given up hope of a return, even if playing for Lancashire would usually be a better way of going about it.

Were England right to call up Buttler based on his IPL form? Have your say in the comments.

England cricket
Keaton Jennings
Mark Stoneman
Jos Buttler

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