Foakes, Jen­nings re­called for Sri Lanka’s Test tour

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Lon­don, UK - Eng­land have re­called Ben Foakes and Keaton Jen­nings for next month's Test tour of Sri Lanka, with Jonny Bairstow omit­ted from the party that went to South Africa. Moeen Ali re­mains un­avail­able for Test se­lec­tion, while James An­der­son has been left at home to con­tinue his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion from a rib in­jury ahead of the English sum­mer.

Also miss­ing from the 16-man squad were the in­jured Jofra Archer and Rory Burns, but Eng­land have in­cluded Mark Wood and Stu­art Broad, de­spite some ex­pec­ta­tions the lat­ter could be rested. Jack Leach is fit to as­sume the man­tle of se­nior spin­ner, hav­ing left the South

Africa tour early due to sick­ness, and he will be joined by Dom Bess and Matt Parkin­son in con­di­tions where slow-bowling will be key.

Foakes was player of the se­ries as Eng­land won 3-0 in Sri Lanka two years ago, but lost his place as wick­et­keeper on the sub­se­quent tour of the Caribbean. He is con­sid­ered one of the best glove­men in the world - as well as mak­ing a cen­tury on de­but in Galle, he did not con­cede a sin­gle bye. How­ever, it is un­der­stood that he will travel ini­tially as back-up to Jos But­tler, the cur­rent in­cum­bent.

Bairstow, who was dropped for the New Zealand tour, then re­turned in South Africa and played in the first Test af­ter Ol­lie Pope was struck down by the sick­ness bug that ran through Eng­land dur­ing the build-up, has been given the op­por­tu­nity to rest, ac­cord­ing to Ed Smith, the ECB's na­tional se­lec­tor.

The re­turn of Jen­nings, who also made a hun­dred in Galle, was sign­posted last year when he was sent on an Eng­land train­ing camp to Mum­bai.

He has an ex­cel­lent record against spin, av­er­ag­ing 44.44 on the sub­con­ti­nent, and also im­pressed by tak­ing a num­ber of catches at short leg on the previous Sri Lanka tour.

His last ap­pear­ance came in St Lu­cia a year ago, since when his high­est first-class score is 97 for Lan­cashire.

Root's side will head out in early March for two warm-up games be­fore Tests in Galle and Colombo, with 120 World Test Cham­pi­onship (WTC) points at stake.

Eng­land squad: Joe Root (capt), Dom Bess, Stu­art Broad, Jos But­tler, Zak Craw­ley, Sam Cur­ran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jen­nings, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkin­son, Ol­lie Pope, Dom Si­b­ley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Keaton Jen­nings

Ben Foakes

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