England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) selectors have opted for Gary Ballance over Jos Buttler for the first Test of the four-match series against Pakistan, which will be held at the Lord's Cricket Ground, starting from July 14. Co-incidentally, both Buttler and Ballance have been in very good form in recent times and it was indeed tough for the selectors to choose from among the two.
But former England captain Nasser Hussain was surprised with ECB's decision of picking Ballance over Buttler for the first Test match against Pakistan at the Lord's.
He clearly mentioned that Buttler is too good a talent to be left out of the England squad.
Ballance replaced Nick Compton in the England Test squad as the latter decided to take a break from cricket after their series win over Sri Lanka recently. Compton was going through a really bad phase and thus took that decision.
"It's a bit of a surprise selection. Not many people were talking about Ballance this summer and Roland-Jones, to be honest, I haven't seen a lot of in red-ball cricket, so it is difficult to judge," Hussain was quoted as saying by SkySports.com.
"It's in no way a dreadful selection, but I would have gone differently, I have said that all along. The selectors are showing a bit of continuity by picking Ballance. Buttler is too good a talent to have just carrying the drinks or out playing in county cricket. Buttler hasn't played a lot of red-ball cricket since he was left out of the Test team, and the selectors obviously wanted to go for someone who has."
Meanwhile, Buttler recently picked up a finger injury while playing for Lancashire in domestic cricket. The medical team said that it is not serious or else he could have been sidelined for a longer period of time. Hussain said that if fit, Buttler will have to score a lot of runs to earn his place back in the Test squad.
"Jos now needs to score a stack of runs for Lancashire, although it looks like he might be injured for a while."