Sri Lanka v England: James Anderson rested, Stuart Broad and Jonny Bairstow return

Sri Lanka v England: James Anderson rested, Stuart Broad and Jonny Bairstow return
Broad and Anderson are England’s two most successful bowlers in Tests
Sri Lanka v England: Third Test
Venue: Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo Dates: 23-27 November Time: 04:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch and listen to The Cricket Social and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Fast bowler James Anderson has been rested for England’s third Test against Sri Lanka and replaced by Stuart Broad.

Jonny Bairstow also returns in place of injured all-rounder Sam Curran and is listed to bat at number three with Ben Foakes remaining as wicketkeeper.

Broad and Bairstow have not featured in the series while Anderson and Curran have each taken one wicket, with the latter making a second-Test fifty.

The final Test begins on Friday with England having already won the series.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, has bowled only 41 overs across the two matches so far on pitches more suited to spinners.

Neither Anderson or Curran have taken a wicket since the first innings of the first Test and in the second match in Pallekele none of Sri Lanka’s 20 wickets fell to an England seamer.

Anderson, 36, told BBC Sport he has felt like a “spare part” during the series and “understands” the decision to rotate the team in order to allow Broad to play.

“With the winter we have ahead it makes sense for Stuart to get some cricket,” he said.

“We have what will be a tough tour in the West Indies and it could be a long period without him bowling.

“To have a game under his belt is good for him and for the team.”

Bairstow has been England’s regular wicketkeeper but was injured for the first Test and in his absence his replacement Foakes scored a century and excelled with the gloves.

England opted not to recall Bairstow for the second Test when he was fully fit but he now returns as a frontline batsman and is poised to be England’s third number three in the three matches.

Curran picked up a minor side injury in the second Test and in his absence England have opted to strengthen their batting with Bairstow, rather than replace the 20-year-old with another all-rounder Chris Woakes or uncapped fast bowler Olly Stone.

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