Jack Leach and Jos Buttler have both been recalled to England’s Test squad ahead of the fifth Test against India at Old Trafford, the ECB website has announced. Buttler returns after missing the fourth Test for the birth of his daughter Margot, and Leach comes in again having been released back to Somerset after Moeen Ali entered the fray.
There is some confusion over Jos Buttler being included after he stated in an interview with The Sunday Times that he would consider missing this December’s Ashes tour to spend time with his young family. It has been suggested that England should look towards the longer term and include someone they see as playing a definite role over the winter.
Leach has had to endure a difficult summer, bouncing in and out of England squads but not playing any role in their eleven. With Chris Woakes finding immediate form and establishing himself as the hosts’ premier all-rounder on his return to the side at the Oval, Leach’s inclusion suggests something of a vote of no confidence in Moeen Ali, who having been appointed vice-captain has failed to impress with bat or ball. It could still be that Leach fails to make the final cut, however, with England no doubt reluctant to play two spinners in Manchester.