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Jack and Dom in Test squad

Somerset spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess have been included in the 16-strong squad that has been named by the England National Cricket Selectors for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

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.

“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.”

England Test Squad for Sri Lanka:

Joe Root (Yorkshire) Captain

Dominic Bess (Somerset)

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

Jos Buttler (Lancashire)

Zak Crawley (Kent)

Sam Curran (Surrey)

Joe Denly (Kent)

Ben Foakes (Surrey)

Keaton Jennings (Lancashire)

Jack Leach (Somerset)

Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire)

Ollie Pope (Surrey)

Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire)

Ben Stokes (Durham) vice-captain

Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

Mark Wood (Durham)

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.

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 – Cricket Sri Lanka Invitational XI v England – CMCG, Katunayake

Thursday 12-15 March: Four-day first-class match – Cricket Sri Lanka XI v England – P. Sara Ground, Colombo

Thursday 19-23 March: 1st Test – Sri Lanka v England – Galle International Stadium, Galle

Friday 27-31 March: 2nd Test – Sri Lanka v England – SSC, Colombo

England images courtesy of Getty Images

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