Stokes, Archer rested for Sri Lanka tests


The pair will miss both tests in Galle and are expected to join the team via Palk Straight ahead of the four-test series against India in early February © Getty

Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes have rested from a strong test team to face Sri Lanka as England look to minimize bubble time for the two multi-format specialists ahead of back-to-back winter assignments on the subcontinent. The pair will miss both tests in Galle and are expected to join the team across the Palk Strait ahead of the four-test series against India in early February.

The 16-member squad sees a retirement for Jonny Bairstow, the Yorkshire man who has played 70 events for England, but none since December 2019. The 31-year-old averaged just 18.55 in 10 events in 2019 and surpassed fifty just two. times during a surprising defeat. in the form of a red ball, but reached a century in Sri Lanka in late 2018 while playing as a specialized hitter.

His retirement is based on the fact that Ollie Pope came out with a shoulder injury, while Rory Burns was granted paternity leave. Pope, however, will travel to Sri Lanka, where he will continue his rehabilitation with a view to preparing for the Indian tests that follow.

Bairstow’s return to England’s Whites was practically confirmed when he retired from his Big Bash League stint with the Melbourne Stars. Meanwhile, Ben Foakes has been chosen as a substitute glove keeper. The 27-year-old turned a century on his Galle debut during the 3-0 sweep of the 2018 England series, but he hasn’t played a game since Antigua, 2019.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad lead the bowling contingent which also includes Mark Wood, Chris Woakes Sam Curran and Olly Stone. There is no return to test cricket for Adil Rashid, who took 12 wickets during England’s series win last time with Moeen Ali, who has spoken about his desire to play test cricket, given the go-ahead alongside Jack. Leach and the owner of Dom Bess

The two events, to be played behind closed doors in Galle, will begin on January 14 and 22, respectively. England will depart for Hambantota from London on January 2 and train at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium between January 5 and 9. They will depart Sri Lanka on January 27 and the India series will begin in Chennai on February 4.

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

Bookings: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.

© Cricbuzz