Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Rory Burns have all been named in the 16-man squad for the first two Tests against India next month. The trio were rested for the Sri Lankan tour, but will make their return for the all-important Indian tour. Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood have been rested whereas, Jos Butler will travel back home after the first Test.
England have maintained their policy of squad rotation after they have rested their three crucial players. After playing the entire IPL season, Archer and Stokes were rested for the short tour of Sri Lanka, whereas Burns missed tour on paternity leave.
The first Test will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai which begins on February 5. Ed Smith, the ECB’s National Selector, confirmed that Jos Butler would head back home after the first Test. This means that Ben Foakes will likely come into the eleven for the final three Tests.
Moeen Ali had been ruled out of the SL Tests after he tested positive for covid-19 after his arrival in the country. However, he has been added to the squad whereas Ollie Pope who is recovering from a dislocated shoulder will be added back to the squad once he is deemed fit.
England are expected to announce their squad for the final Two Tests against India in due course. The visitors are also taking six reserves to India in case of any injuries or illness.
Squad for first two Tests: Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.