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."
|Gatland wants Webb available for World Cup|
|Modric: Ronaldo, Messi out of this world but my season deserved recognition|
|Love says Cavs ´will surprise a lot of people´|
|George believes Thunder can compete for championship this season|
|Messi is the greatest ever – Eto´o|
|Messi to miss Argentina´s upcoming friendlies|
|Dolphins say Hayes tore ACL attempting to avoid roughing-the-passer penalty|
|Modric deserved FIFA Best award – Ramos|
|Thibodeau open to potential Butler trade|
|Modric wanted Ronaldo, Messi at awards ceremony|
|Brewers´ Yelich active after elbow hit|
|Anthony on coming off Rockets´ bench: Whatever I have to do to help this team win|
|Raiders coach Gruden says Mack trade was hard on players|
|Bale lauds ´unbelievable´ Modric after FIFA Best triumph|
|Ronaldo, Messi lacked respect with FIFA Best awards snub - Capello|
|New Zealand the benchmark but England can win World Cup - Mitchell|
|FIFA Best Award a dream come true for Modric|
|Lakers a long way from Warriors, warns LeBron|
|Milner pokes fun at Salah´s Puskas Award win|
|Josh Rosen to replace Sam Bradford as Cardinals starting quarterback|
|Kaymer: Home-course advantage crucial to Europe hopes|
|Marta and Pedros win FIFA Best awards|
|I want to be in Toronto - Kawhi Leonard focused on Raptors, not future|
|Messi and Ronaldo lead FIFPro World XI as Salah and Neymar miss out|
|Knicks´ Kristaps Porzingis ´itchy´ to return but won´t commit to 2018-19 season|
|Modric beats Ronaldo and Salah to FIFA Best prize|
|49ers confirm ACL tear for QB Garoppolo|
|Salah beats Bale and Ronaldo to Puskas Award|
|Deschamps wins FIFA Best Men´s Coach award|
|Law to leave Windies for Middlesex role|
|Sunderland terminate Ndong´s contract|
|Spalletti warns rejuvenated Inter against complacency|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Figo in town as USA arrive in style|
|Browns name Baker Mayfield starting QB|
|Chelsea need to be more versatile, warns Giroud|
|Paris Saint-Germain FFP case referred by UEFA back to CFCB Investigatory Chamber|
|Busy Bertens ready for bed, Muguruza gains Wimbledon revenge|
|Hart ready if England come calling - Dyche|
|Ryder Cup 2018: An honour and a burden - the unique challenge of captaincy|
|Hibino beats Bouchard again at the Tashkent Open|
|Falcons lose Ricardo Allen for season|
|Mbappe three-match ban stands following appeal|
|Tomic wins first Tour-level match since Wimbledon in Chengdu|
|Ryder Cup diary: Scoreboard shocker, captains tight-lipped|
|Mourinho will spawn lots of managers - Lampard|
|Furyk outlines Woods´ Ryder Cup motivation|
|Tiger doesn´t scare Team Europe - Bjorn|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Team USA profile|
|Woods winning ´incredibly special for golf´, says Poulter|
|Grealish commits to Aston Villa with five-year deal|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Four reasons why Team USA will win|
|Herrera ready for return - Mourinho|
|Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Usyk|
|Lewandowski and Boateng´s professionalism impresses Kovac|
|WATCH: Sheepish Murray comically drops commemorative plate in China|
|Cech: Arsenal have forgotten how to win Premier League titles|
|Lemar must adapt to Atleti style, says Simeone|
|Toulon to appeal suspended points penalty|
|AFE rejects Miami plan for Girona-Barca|
|Messi and Ronaldo to decide world´s best young player|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Talisman Poulter key to European hopes|
|Pogba hits out at critics who ´create drama´|
|Barcelona to appeal Lenglet red card|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Team Europe profile|
|Patriots´ Gronkowski threatened to retire if traded to Lions|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Four reasons why Europe will win|
|Tigres and Monterrey condemn violence that leaves fan in intensive care|
|Williams baffled by coach´s claim he sent her US Open final signals|
|Ryder Cup 2018: A sporting spectacular you cannot afford to miss|
|Cricket Australia closes investigation into Moeen claim|