James Vince has not been included in the 12-man squad following his disappointing Ashes series. Aesthetically pleasing at the crease, Vince struggled to back up his obvious quality with significant numbers - he has now played 22 Test match innings and averages a disappointing 24.90 after enduring a hard time of it during the Ashes series against Australia in the winter.
Buttler, who last played a Test in December 2016, has been selected as a specialist batsman after England's struggles in recent months while Bess, the uncapped Somerset off-spinner, benefited from the untimely broken thumb suffered by his team-mate Jack Leach at Taunton on Tuesday. "His overall Test record, he averages 31, to some extent that's beside the point - because he's evolved since then, he's become an even better player in the short form of the game", Smith added. I'm fully aware he hasn't played a red-ball game since the back-end of last season and our eyes are wide open.
The other surprising inclusion is 20-year-old spinner Dominic Bess.
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Buttler has endured a frustrating 18-match Test career since making his debut four years ago. He has impressed everyone with his performances for Somerset and when he has been given opportunities with England representative teams.
'I was actually in IKEA with my girlfriend when I heard the news, ' said Bess. Ed provided me with an fantastic moment in IKEA. My grandfather passed away when I was 10 and he was always one of my biggest fans, so it makes me quite emotional when I think about him too. England lost that five-test series 4-0 and Jonny Bairstow has kept gloves ever since. And it is right that Joe Root will bat where he always should have done at three, a move that Smith insists is very much down to the captain.
Surrey's Mark Stoneman has survived despite having yet to reach 30 in seven innings this summer - he averaged 40 on England's tour to New Zealand.
Chris Woakes and Mark Wood, who was recalled in Christchurch, will compete for the final fast-bowling spot while Mark Stoneman has retained his place at the top of the order despite a lean start to the season.