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."
|Saunders thanks Fury for getting him ´back on the right track´|
|Hannover 0 Bayern Munich 4: Gnabry and Kimmich star in crushing win|
|I admire Sterling – Guardiola|
|City´s strength in depth makes it hard for me – Jesus|
|Jamieson holds slender lead in Malelane|
|Kashima Antlers 3 Guadalajara 2: Comeback win sets up Real Madrid semi-final|
|Hosszu claims fourth Hangzhou gold, Le Clos beaten by Santos|
|Manchester City 3 Everton 1: Jesus at the double as City go top|
|Parker defiant on low blow claims after ending 2018 ´with a bang´|
|Alisson: Liverpool must beat Manchester United|
|Mourinho´s brutal honesty praised by Karanka|
|Fielding inspired by Bellew after overcoming setbacks to face Canelo|
|Mourinho loves being a manager ´more than ever´|
|Khawaja unconcerned by poor start to India series|
|WATCH: Dellavedova dives into media table to rescue possession|
|Christmas form could transform Man United´s season - Rashford|
|Urgent changes needed at Manchester United – Ferdinand|
|Ishant confident as Kohli carries India into day three|
|Modric takes aim at Simeone for ´constantly undermining Real Madrid´|
|Kevin Durant provides playoffs warning to inconsistent Warriors|
|A-League Review: Janjetovic off as Wanderers suffer derby defeat|
|VanVleet turnover the ´turning point´ in Raptors loss|
|Shanahan on Mahomes no-look pass: ´I do it all the time´|
|De Bruyne and Aguero return to City bench, Sterling left out of starting XI|
|Kohli and Rahane combine to thwart Australia in Perth|
|Modric cool on Madrid future beyond current deal|
|´Fatigued´ Embiid has a lot on his shoulders - Brown|
|Crespo agrees to take charge at Banfield|
|Westbrook on Murray scuffle: He was in my way|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Van Dijk the rock on which Klopp can build a title triumph|
|Marcelo ´never´ considered Madrid exit amid Juventus links|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Resurgent Rashford now a leader for Mourinho|
|Injury-plagued Nuggets beat Thunder to hold Western Conference lead|
|Southee takes five as Sri Lanka recover in Wellington|
|Kings troll Curry by playing clips of moon landing|
|Guardiola: Premier League title race similar to Barca-Madrid battles|
|Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat-trick|
|Liverpool can´t be judged just on trophies – Klopp responds to Mourinho|
|Athletics´ Chapman undergoes procedure on left shoulder|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid miss Ronaldo|
|Ronaldo right about Juventus team spirit – Allegri|
|Klopp: I´m not the pope of football tactics|
|Stade beat Ospreys on emotional Chauvin tribute night|
|Ligue 1 survival bid a marathon not a sprint for Monaco, as club appoints distance runner|
|Vertonghen eyeing Spurs future beyond 2020|
|De Bruyne injuries could be a blessing for City, says Guardiola|
|Emery prepared to face Arsenal´s centre-back crisis|
|Ulster complete Scarlets double, Exeter gain Gloucester revenge|
|Sheffield United 1 West Brom 2: Baggies comeback boosts automatic promotion push|
|Del Potro back on court following knee injury|
|Canelo v Fielding: Rocky ready to write his own fairytale in New York|
|Boca part company with Schelotto after Copa Libertadores loss to River|
|Canelo v Fielding: Tale of the tape|
|Juventus defender Cancelo has knee surgery|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez and Rocky make weight in New York|
|Spalletti does not fear another mid-season crisis at Inter|
|Salah headlines CAF Player of the Year shortlist as Koulibaly misses out|
|Beckham Jr. out of Titans clash|
|Lipsky hits the front at Leopard Creek|
|Pederson coy over Wentz back injury|
|Liverpool ´not really likely´ to be active in January window, reveals Klopp|
|Always on the move and unpredictable - Pavard reveals surprising choice over toughest opponent|
|We need to get back to respect - Lampard alarmed by hate in football|
|Giles returns to England to replace Strauss as director|
|Hansen has no issue with Milner-Skudder Toulon switch|
|Juventus to rest Ronaldo after Torino showdown|
|Titmus strikes gold again as world records tumble in Hangzhou|
|Malinga to captain Sri Lanka in New Zealand|
|Rivaldo would like ´excellent´ Isco at Barcelona|
|United a long way from Mourinho´s vision|