Ballance has been on fire for Yorkshire this season averaging over 100 in the County Championship giving the selectors little choice but to recall him.
The Yorkshire skipper looks set to feature in Joe Root’s first Test as England captain with just five specialist batsmen in the squad including wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
Allrounders Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali should be the first names on the England team sheet no matter where they play.
Dawson provides an extra spin option being preferred ahead of Adil Rashid as the reserve spinner but with Moeen in the squad England look set to name a pace quartet of Toby Roland-Jones, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood and Jimmy Anderson.
Roland-Jones gets his recall courtesy of an injury to Jake Ball who suffered a knee strain playing county cricket.
Former skipper Alastair Cook and young South African-born Keaton Jennings reprise their opening partnership that showed promise in India.
England squad: Joe Root (capt), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Toby Roland-Jones, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Jimmy Anderson.