England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed resting all-rounder Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer for the Sri Lanka series. England is set to face Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series slated to begin January 14, followed by the second Test between 22-26 January.
The board has rested both the players with the motive to reduce their time under the bio-secure bubble considering their series against India. Both the players will not tour to Sri Lanka for the Galle Tests, will most likely join before the India tour.
ECB has named a 16-man squad for the Sri Lanka tour with Joe Root leading the side. All-rounder Moeen Ali has also returned to the Test team after a break of more than a year from the longest format.
Star wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow who is in his peak for in the limited-overs format also gets a call-up in the Test team. He has only averaged a mere 18.55 since 2019 in the Test cricket, leading to his ouster from the red-ball cricket from the national team.
Last week, Bairstow had pulled out of the Big Bash League who was due to play for the Melbourne Stars in his debut tournament.
The bowling department will be spearheaded by veteran James Anderson and Stuart Broad alongside Mark Wood, Chris Woakes Sam Curran and Olly Stone. They have also named wicket-keeper batsman Ben Foakes in the squad along with Jos Buttler and Dan Lawrence.
England players will depart for Sri Lanka on January 27, eleven days after the conclusion of the Lanka Premier League.
Squad: Joe Root(c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Reserves: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.