England have recalled Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings and Surrey wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka next month.
The pair were both discarded after the West Indies tour 12 months ago but both of Jennings’ Test hundreds have come on the subcontinent and Foakes was player of the series in England’s 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in November 2018.
Foakes’ inclusion means there is no room for Jonny Bairstow in a 16-man touring party while England’s record wicket-taker James Anderson is another high-profile absentee, with Moeen Ali remaining unavailable for selection.
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.”
Speaking about the omissions, Smith added: “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.”
Full England squad: Joe Root (capt), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes (wk), Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
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
The quick is gearing up to take on the West Indies next month.
The Somerset man has 34 wickets at just 29 apiece in his 10 Test appearances.
A total of 10 Pakistan players tested positive for Covid-19.
The Antigua-born seamer is itching to make a big impression in the three-Test series in England that starts in Manchester on July 8.
The 21-year-old says the route from British Asian hubs to the county game can be “daunting”
On arrival in England the squad will head to Blackfinch New Road.
Sheyne Moseley, Shane Dowrich and Shamarh Brooks registered half-centuries at Old Trafford.
The Kent batsman has won four Test caps.
The duo shared an unbroken stand of 131 before lunch on day three.