England National Cricket Selectors have named a 16-strong squad for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka starting at Galle International Stadium on March 19 2020.
Ben Foakes and Keaton Jennings return to the Test set-up for the first time in 12 months.
Surrey’s wicketkeeper-batsman Foakes made his Test debut in Galle in November 2018 where he scored a fine hundred. He has represented England at Test level five times with his last cap awarded against the West Indies last January in Antigua.
Top-order batsman Jennings returns to the England fold for the first time since the West Indies tour a year ago. The Lancashire left-hander will be looking to add to his 17 Test caps, which includes two centuries - both scored in the subcontinent - on debut in Mumbai in 2016 and a superb 146 not out against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2018.
England Test squad:
Lancashire seamer James Anderson, who is recovering from a cracked rib sustained in January during the second Test in Cape Town against South Africa, will continue to condition and prepare ahead of the start of the English season.
Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow misses the trip having been part of the Test tour of South Africa.
Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali, who last played Test cricket in August, remains unavailable for Test selection.
Commenting on the selection of the squad, National Selector Ed Smith, said:
“The selection panel has supported continuity after a successful series victory in South Africa. The South Africa tour marked the emergence of a very exciting group of young players, creating a nice balance with an experienced core of senior players. That squad is mostly retained, with some tweaks to the squad relevant to injury, rest and the challenges of playing in sub-continent conditions.
“Somerset spinner Jack Leach has recovered from his illness he picked up in South Africa and is now healthy and keen to resume his Test career.
Ed Smith, National Selector
“Jonny Bairstow has been in England squads across the three formats without a significant break. This two-Test tour presents a good opportunity for Jonny to be rested.
“Jimmy Anderson will continue to work with Lancashire and the ECB so that he is ready for the start of the County Championship season leading into the Test series against the West Indies in June.
“Moeen Ali is still unavailable for Test selection. The selectors are in consistent dialogue with Moeen and he remains a valued player in England cricket.”
The two-match Test series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship. Joe Root’s team currently stand in third place and will be looking to close in on India and Australia, who are currently leading the standings. The top two teams at the end of the two-year cycle will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final in England in June 2021.
England Test tour of Sri Lanka 2020
Saturday 7-9 March: Three-day warm-up match v Cricket Sri Lanka Invitational XI, CMCG, Katunayake
Thursday 12-15 March: Four-day first-class match v Cricket Sri Lanka XI, P. Sara Ground, Colombo
Thursday 19-23 March: 1st Test v Sri Lanka, Galle International Stadium, Galle
Friday 27-31 March: 2nd Test v Sri Lanka, SSC, Colombo