James Anderson will replace the rested Stuart Broad in England’s only change for the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Broad took 3-20 in Sri Lanka’s first innings of 135 all out in the first Test in Galle, which England won by seven wickets to move 1-0 up in the two-match series.
However, the seamer will be rotated out for Anderson for Friday’s match at the same venue as England manage their bowlers ahead of the four-Test assignment in India from February 5.
England team for second Test: Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (captain), Dan Lawrence, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Mark Wood James Anderson
Sri Lanka vs England
January 22, 2021, 4:00am
Anderson will now play his first Test since taking his record 600th wicket against Pakistan in August and will be looking to help England claim a fifth successive away Test win, with last week’s victory over Sri Lanka following three in South Africa last winter.
- England complete victory over Sri Lanka in first Test
- Watch highlights on YouTube
Left-arm seamer Sam Curran and fast bowler Mark Wood retain their spots, meaning there are no places for Warwickshire duo Chris Woakes and Olly Stone.
Moeen Ali will miss out again having only left coronavirus quarantine on Saturday, meaning Dom Bess and Jack Leach – both of whom claimed five-wicket hauls in the first Test – will form the spin attack.
England captain Joe Root told reporters on Thursday: “Unfortunately Mo is not going to be selectable for this game, which is a real shame. It’s been a really tough tour for him so far.
“It is great to see him back around the group, training again and easing his way back into his workload and getting ready for Test cricket again. We are all looking forward to having him back at full tilt.
“The great thing for me is that the spinners had success but also have great attitudes where they want to keep getting better. They don’t want to be happy with what they have done, they want to improve on the start they have had.”
Root’s men only need to avoid defeat in Galle this week to complete back-to-back Test series wins in Sri Lanka, having swept the hosts 3-0 in 2018.
Watch the second and final Test between Sri Lanka and England live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 4am on Friday.
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