Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer rested as England name squad for Sri Lanka tour

Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have been rested for England’s tour to Sri Lanka, while Rory Burns will miss the trip to be at the birth of his first child.

England’s Test squad will leave for Sri Lanka on January 2 and play two red-ball matches behind closed doors in Galle on January 14-18 and January 22-26.

The ECB have picked a 16-man squad and seven reserves for the trip but star all-rounder Stokes and fast bowler Archer will be absent as they have been rested after a gruelling 2020 schedule.

Surrey batsman Burns’ wife is expecting their first child during the second week of January so he too will miss the two-Test series.

England’s squad for Sri Lanka tour

Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan 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).

Ollie Pope is still recovering from a shoulder injury sustained during last summer’s series against Pakistan but will join the squad in Sri Lanka to continue his rehab ahead of the four-match Test series against India that starts in February.

There is a Test recall for Jonny Bairstow and the Yorkshireman could be set to bat in the top-three alongside Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley.

Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Dan Lawrence and Ben Foakes are among the middle-order options for England, while they have picked three spinners in Moeen Ali, Dom Bess and Jack Leach.

England legends James Anderson and Stuart Broad will likely lead the attack, with Sam Curran, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood providing other fast-bowling options.

England reserves for Sri Lanka tour

James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey).

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