Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer rested, Jonny Bairstow called up for Tests against Sri Lanka

England have announced their Test squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. Pacer Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes are expected to be rested for this two-match Test series and will be available for England tour of India.

England have added reserve players as well to minimize bubble time for the upcoming subcontinent tours of Sri Lanka and India. Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes will be available for the four-match Test series against India in the scheduled to take place in the February and March.

Jonny Bairstow has made a comeback to the Test squad after making his last appearance in December 2019. The Yorkshire man has gone through a lean run and averaged 18.55 in the last 10 Test matches. Bairstow will take heart from the fact that his last century came in Sri Lanka in 2018 while playing as a specialist batsman.

Jonny Bairstow has come into the Test squad after Ollie Pope was ruled out of Sri Lanka series due to a shoulder injury, while opener Rory Burns has been given paternity leave. Pope will go through rehabilitation process and will accompany the Test squad in order to prepare for the upcoming series against India.

Earlier this week, Jonny Bairstow decided not to participate in this year’s Big Bash League competition. Ben Foakes has been picked as reserve wicket-keeper for the two-match Test series. The 27-year old struck a splendid century against Sri Lanka at Galle and was instrumental in helping England inflict a whitewash over Sri Lanka in 2018.

The experienced duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad has been picked for the two-match series. Mark Wood, Sam Curran, Olly Stone and Chris Woakes are other prominent pace options for the side for the tour of Sri Lanka. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach, off-spinners Dominic Bess and Moeen Ali are slow options for England for the Test series.

Both the Test matches will be played at Galle International Stadium in the month of January. England will leave for Sri Lanka on 2nd January and will arrive in Hambantota where they will stay and prepare for the series from 5th to 9th January.

Squad:  Joe Root (captain), Dom Sibley, Ben Foakes, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Jonathan Bairstow, Dan Lawrence, Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Chris Woakes, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Jack Lean, Moeen Ali.

Reserves: Matthew Parkinson, Craig Overton, Saqib Mahmood, Amar Virdi, James Bracey and Mason  Crane.

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