Foakes, Jennings recalled to England Test squad; Buttler, Denly survive the axe
Ben Foakes and Keaton Jennings have been recalled to England’s Test squad to face Sri Lanka. Both Jennings and Foakes were left out of the squad after the West Indies tour last year.
But following Jennings' Test hundreds coming in the sub-continent, he has been picked in the squad. Foakes’ case is similar to Jennings – he impressed on the last Sri Lanka tour on his debut and earned player of the series award.
England's leading wicket-taker in Tests, James Anderson, is not a part of the squad despite making himself available for the two-Test series. It is likely that England are easing down the process of Anderson's comeback in the Test side.
Despite having a mediocre run since the Ashes last year, Jos Buttler has been given another run by Ed Smith and his selection panel.
However, Buttler will now face a tough competition with Ben Foakes – who remains a strong contender to overtake him in the playing XI.
Moeen Ali remains absent from the squad as he aims to take his time to make a comeback in Test cricket. He isn't picked which means Jack Leach, Dominic Bess and Matt Parkinson will be the three genuine spinners in the squad.
Leach, who took 16 wickets against Sri Lanka on his last outing, has recovered from multiple illnesses which forced him to return home early from the South Africa tour.
Joe Denly has been given another lifeline despite being unable to churn out big scores in a 14-Test career.
"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," national selector Ed Smith said.
"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.
"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."
Joe Root (capt), Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood