England has announced their test squad for upcoming Shri Lanka series . Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have been rested for England’s Test series in Sri Lanka in January, while Jonny Bairstow has been recalled to a 16-man squad.
All-rounder Stokes – whose father, Ged, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 65 after a short battle with brain cancer – will not travel with the side to Sri Lanka for the games in Galle from January 14 and January 22, which form part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.
Paceman Archer has also been given a break, with a four-Test assignment in India – which includes a day-night fixture – beginning on February 5, while opening batsman Rory Burns will sit out the Sri Lanka series as well with his wife expecting their first child in the second week of January.
Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonnny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)
England reserves for Sri Lanka series
James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey)
England national selector Ed Smith said: “All the multi-format players, so for example, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler, are going to have a rest at some point during the Sri Lanka and India tours.
“It made sense for Ben to take his rest for the Sri Lanka tour and get ready for India. We know in cricket that things can change but we have identified gaps where some people will have a bit of time off and some rest.
“We cannot expect to play the same XI every time and for those guys to get exhausted and jaded. There must be room for sensible rotation, both in and out of the squad. With essentially six back-to-back Tests it would be unlikely, not impossible but unlikely, that people can go straight through.
“We will be making changes to the India squad mid-tour. We won’t be doing that at the last minute. The way to think about this winter is that it is three blocks of two Tests: Sri Lanka, India one and two, India three and four.”