Samit Patel has earned a recall to the England Test squad three years on from his last cap after Zafar Ansari was ruled out with a dislocated left thumb.
Notts all-rounder Patel has played in five games in the five-day arena for England but the 30-year-old’s last Test recognition came in India in 2012.
However, he will travel with the rest of the England squad for the forthcoming series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates due to the injury Ansari picked up playing for Surrey just hours after he had earned his first Test call up.
Patel admitted he was surprised to get the call. He said: “It was a massive surprise but I’m happy to be on the trip.
“I thought the door was shut for Test cricket for me and I’m probably right in thinking that with the fresh faces of England cricket this summer. I think I’m behind in the pecking order with Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali but if the opportunity comes then I’ll hopefully grab it with two hands.”
Spin will play a huge factor and left-armer Patel joins Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and part-time option Joe Root in the 16-man strong group.
Patel’s only previous Test experience came on the tours of Sri Lanka and India in 2012 and he has only managed four wickets and 109 runs in his England career to date.
But his impressive all-round performances for Notts in the intervening period, both in red-ball and white-ball cricket, have earned him another stab at international cricket following Ansari’s terrible luck.