England national selector Ed Smith says the team have "moved away" from using Moeen Ali as a front-line spinner in Tests.
Moeen was left out of England's last five-day assignment, a draw with New Zealand in Christchurch, with Somerset's Jack Leach called up for a debut in his stead.
And there was no place for Moeen in the 12-man squad for the upcoming two-match series against Pakistan, which was released on Tuesday.
A broken thumb has ruled Leach out, prompting England to call up his uncapped county team-mate Dom Bess, while Moeen has been limited to a bit-part role with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
"I don't think anyone doubts Moeen's ability to contribute handsomely to cricket matches, particularly in England, where he has a strong record," said Smith of a man who has five hundreds and four five-wicket hauls in Tests.
"It was just a sense that we've moved away from the idea of Moeen playing as a first spinner. That was something that the group has moved away from.
"And therefore to bring him back before he's had a chance to, if you like, address things that he's been working on didn't feel right, so the opportunity came up for Bess.
"Moeen Ali - we know he's a very dangerous player, we know he can play a major part in winning games with bat and ball, but right now, after a difficult winter for him in the Test arena, it didn't feel like the right time to bring him back into the squad."
There was, however, a recall for Jos Buttler, who has not played a Test since December 2016 but has been in superb form in the IPL, equalling the tournament record by making five consecutive fifties for Rajasthan Royals.
Buttler is set to bat at seven, with captain Joe Root moving up to three to replace the dropped James Vince while Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes will comprise the middle order.
"With Ben Stokes obviously an established and outstanding number six and also balancing the team as a fifth bowler, that created a possibility for a different look at the number seven position," added Smith.
"Who could do that job in a way that was unique, in a way that really brought a different dimension to the whole batting order? And the panel decided that Jos Buttler fitted that bill perfectly.
"The message to Jos from everyone around the table was to play his way, to play with the confidence and the flair that he's capable of batting with and the skill and the decision making.
"He's become such a complete cricketer in the white-ball form of the game and we felt it was the perfect opportunity to reintroduce him to Test cricket and for him to play his full expressive way in the Test arena as well."
|Composed Woods hits turn with five-shot lead|
|Chiefs´ Mahomes has another record-breaking Sunday|
|Saints QB Drew Brees passes Brett Favre for most career completions|
|Emery hints Leno may need patience after Cech display|
|Picamoles scores four as Montpellier batter 14-man Toulouse|
|Messi breaks LaLiga record|
|Worcester fend off prowling Tigers, Sarries go top|
|AC Milan 2 Atalanta 2: Last-gasp Rigoni rescues a point|
|Neymar keen to repay supporter affection|
|Pellegrini rues West Ham´s wastefulness|
|Paris Saint-Germain´s positive response buoys Tuchel|
|Lewis rekindles fond memories with Vilamoura triumph|
|Arsenal 2 Everton 0: Lacazette, Aubameyang extend winning streak|
|Stephens suffers as Osaka withdraws in Wuhan|
|Rhinos run riot to secure Super League status|
|Risk brings reward for victorious Marquez|
|Let´s have some fun - Wentz tweets message to Eagles fans ahead of return|
|Maybe in a year Chelsea will be at Liverpool´s level – Sarri|
|Under-pressure Rodgers bemoans ´bitty´ Celtic start|
|Slater should be banned for Grand Final - Fittler|
|Simon ends Bachinger fairytale to lift Metz title|
|Dominant Thiem reigns in St. Petersburg|
|Neymar hands young fan his shirt during Paris Saint-Germain victory|
|Quick-Step Floors storm to fourth time trial gold|
|Jorginho sets new passing record in West Ham draw|
|Rubiales slams ´crazy´ LaLiga schedule|
|Rennes 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Tuchel´s Ligue 1 record stays perfect|
|Why so serious? Joshua reveals Fury has blocked him on Twitter|
|West Ham 0 Chelsea 0: Sarri´s 100 per cent start comes to frustrating end|
|Marvellous Marquez reigns in Aragon yet again|
|Real Madrid will not go to the USA with LaLiga - Perez|
|Erasmus adds five players to Springboks squad|
|Barcelona snub ´hardest decision´ of Griezmann´s career|
|Perez pays tribute to Ronaldo and Zidane|
|Cazorla concedes Arsenal lacked self-belief under Wenger|
|Get King Kong for AJ! Joshua understands critics´ demands|
|Korea change sees Bertens take title in Seoul|
|I love Bilic, but I let him down – Arnautovic|
|He will never fight me! Fury hits out at ´ponderous´ Joshua|
|Azpilicueta convinced Hazard can be ´the best´|
|Wigglesworth´s career in Opta numbers as he breaks Premiership record|
|Ronaldo has nothing to prove, says Allegri|
|Federer shines as Europe hold narrow lead at Laver Cup|
|Astros, Yankees and Indians record dramatic wins|
|Pliskova too strong for Osaka in Tokyo final|
|Kyle Busch comes from behind to win again in Virginia|
|Dybala can play as a striker – Allegri|
|Pochettino never doubts ´special´ Kane|
|NASCAR results at Richmond: Kyle Busch comes from behind to win again in Virginia|
|McIlroy just worried about himself at Tour Championship|
|MLS Review: Atlanta stay clear of Red Bulls|
|Rose reminds everyone Woods has been here before|
|Cronk in doubt for Grand Final due to ´severe´ shoulder injury|
|Timberwolves sign Towns to extension|
|Hearn wants Wilder for Joshua, not ´un-entertaining´ Fury|
|Woods pleased with putting consistency|
|Ballon d´Or not a focus for Asensio|
|Man City star Mendy revels in Joshua triumph|
|Braves clinch first NL East title since 2013|
|I want Wilder, says Joshua|
|Inter must live on the edge to win, says jubilant Spalletti|
|Woods leads by three at Tour Championship|
|Bordeaux end Clermont´s perfect start, Zebo at double in Racing win|
|Lopetegui not worried about Courtois footwork|
|Joshua finds emphatic answer to Povetkin challenge|
|BREAKING NEWS: Brutal Joshua knocks out Povetkin in seventh round|
|Real Madrid can´t win 5-0 every week - Varane|
|Al Ahly 4 Horoya 0 (4-0 agg): Egyptian giants reach CAF Champions League semi-finals|
|Kings upset Warriors, Leinster batter Edinburgh|
|Son committed to Tottenham amid Bayern links|