Opener Keaton Jennings and wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes have earned a recall to the England Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka. England will compete in 2 Test matches against the Lankans in March at Galle and Colombo.
Jennings will act as the reserve opener in the squad, with his reputation of being a good player of spin working in his favour. Ben Foakes also performed exceptionally well when England last toured Sri Lanka, aggregating almost 300 runs. He has been added to the squad to lend some competition to under pressure Jos Buttler. Jonny Bairstow has been handed a rest for the tour. Joe Denly also retains his place in the squad despite some below-par performances in the longest format of the game.
With conditions expected to assist the spinners, England have named three spinners in the squad. Dom Bess will be backed up by Jack Leach and Matthew Parkinson. James Anderson is left out in order to complete his recovery after getting injured during the South African tour. In his absence, Stuart Broad will lead the pace attack. Mark Wood will also be expected to add a cutting edge, with Jofra Archer being ruled out.
On the squad selection, selector Ed Smith said:
“The selection panel has supported continuity after a successful series victory in South Africa. The South Africa tour marked the emergence of a very exciting group of young players, creating a nice balance with an experienced core of senior players. That squad is mostly retained, with some tweaks to the squad relevant to injury, rest and the challenges of playing in sub-continent conditions.”
Squad: Joe Root (C), Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes (VC), Chris Woakes, Mark Wood