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."
|Pedroia to return for Red Sox on Friday|
|Warriors´ Iguodala ruled out for game five against Rockets|
|Na leads as Spieth makes solid start at Colonial|
|James Harden, LeBron James headline 2017-18 All-NBA first team|
|Manchester United target Fred to decide future after World Cup|
|´Incredible´ Salah is like Messi, says Ronaldo|
|Salah a big candidate for Ballon d´Or - Muller|
|Message from coach keeping Masters champion Reed grounded|
|Anybody can really win it - Seles feels French Open is wide open this year|
|Mambo number 5! - Non-league star channels Lou Bega hit|
|Pakistan to stop wearing smart watches after ICC intervention - Hasan|
|Saha hails ´great man´ Ferguson as legendary Man Utd boss continues recovery|
|Emery´s depth of knowledge impressed Arsenal´s Gazidis|
|Conceicao extends Porto contract|
|Lomax impresses as Saints overrun Tigers|
|McIlroy in contention at Wentworth as Bjerregaard sets the early pace|
|Bad light calls time on Thiem, Wawrinka out in Geneva|
|Garitano in, Canales out at Real Sociedad|
|Caparros accepts new role at Sevilla|
|Pliskova downed by Larsson after drawing Serena in Paris|
|They´re using the anthem as fake patriotism - Warriors coach Kerr critical of NFL|
|Lyon win record fifth Women´s Champions League title|
|French Open 2018: Doing the unthinkable - the men most likely to topple Nadal|
|French Open 2018: How can Rafael Nadal be stopped?|
|Steve Smith named as marquee player for Global T20 Canada|
|Can Emre play? Yes he Can... and so can Milner|
|Liverpool working to help fans after flight cancellations|
|Abbas and Hasan torment sorry England|
|Xavi ´thrilled´ to sign two-year Al Sadd extension|
|Holtby extends Hamburg contract despite relegation|
|Nadal begins French Open defence against Dolgopolov|
|Serena drawn to play Pliskova in French Open first round|
|FA condemns assault of match official|
|Bologna confirm Donadoni departure|
|Yates lead halved in Giro d´Italia|
|Connacht turn to Friend|
|Scotland lose injured Dunbar for June tour|
|Spalletti in ´no rush´ to sign new Inter deal|
|Ricciardo and Red Bull dominate Monaco practice|
|Mauricio Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Istanbul to host 2020 Champions League final|
|Williams sisters given French Open wildcard|
|President Donald Trump praises NFL´s anthem stance|
|Buffon in consideration for Italy call, says Mancini|
|Roberts injured in Broncos win against Eels|
|Atletico complete move for Villarreal star Rodri|
|Ozil, Gundogan not playing politics, says Low|
|Valencia complete permanent Kondogbia signing|
|Fairytale ending could be in the script, says World Cup-bound Vardy|
|Milwaukee police apologise to Bucks´ Brown over tasering|
|Television, crosswords and Nintendo - Koscielny´s remedy to World Cup heartache|
|World Cup not an audition for Barca or Madrid, says Germany star Werner|
|Neck injury rules Kohli out of Surrey stint|
|Nine LaLiga titles and 674 club games under nine managers - Iniesta in Opta numbers|
|49ers Enterprises takes stake in Leeds United|
|Manchester United should sell Pogba if he´s unhappy - Scholes|
|Andres Iniesta´s nine LaLiga triumphs with Barcelona|
|Andres Iniesta: The footballers´ footballer|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Salah has foundations in place for Ballon d´Or challenge|
|Iniesta´s Vissel Kobe move confirmed|
|Low upbeat over Neuer´s World Cup hopes|
|´No secrets´ in playoffs, says Celtics rookie Tatum|
|Real Madrid v Liverpool: Salah takes his chances better than Ronaldo - Opta|
|Cubs, Yankees find very different ways to lose|
|Cole hoping to see Rooney in MLS amid DC United links|
|LeBron feeling worn down following Cavs loss|
|Rahm enjoys ´traditional golf courses´|
|Upbeat Spieth eyeing first win of 2018|
|Ovechkin leads Capitals into Stanley Cup Finals|