Test recall a 'fantastic surprise' for Buttler
Jos Buttler says his England Test recall was a "fantastic surprise" as he thought his career in the longest format may be over.
Buttler is set to make his comeback against Pakistan at Lord's this week, almost a year and a half after playing his last Test in India.
The innovative, clean-striking 27-year-old is set to play as a specialist batsman after being included in the first squad since Ed Smith was appointed chief selector.
Buttler has been in a rich vein of form for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and he is determined to make the most of what he considers to be a second debut.
"It was quite a lot of a surprise," Buttler said of his call-up "It wasn't particularly on my radar. But, through a change of selectors, I've been afforded an incredible opportunity. So it's a fantastic surprise and an incredible opportunity. It feels like another debut, really.
"I wasn't resigned to not playing Tests again, but I was very aware that it might never happen. I knew I was going to be available for a lot of championship cricket for Lancashire at the end of the summer, so that was a real focus of mine for targeting red-ball cricket.
"But you always think that maybe that race is run and it will never happen again."
Buttler has been able to capitalise on the growth of the increasingly lucrative Twenty20 format, but he believes Test cricket is still the most prestigious form of the game.
He added: "It was tough to leave the IPL halfway through. It's an incredible tournament and I've loved the last three years I've been there.
"But I'm delighted to leave as well to come and have this opportunity. Test cricket is the ultimate format and I think it always will be for players of my generation. You get that feeling talking to everyone: they still feel Test cricket is best.
"And Virat Kohli signing for Surrey to get used to playing in England shows that Test cricket is still at the forefront of players' minds. It's still the pinnacle."