Thursday, 22 November 2018 05:36

Broad, Bairstow in England’s line-up for third Test

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Stuart Broad and Jonny Bairstow will feature in England’s third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the SSC starting on Friday at the expense of Jimmy Anderson and Sam Curran.

England’s highest Test wicket-taker, Anderson, has been rested, while all-rounder Curran has a minor side issue.

Broad will get his first airing of the tour at the SSC – the same ground where he made his debut in 2007 – while Bairstow, who injured his ankle during a football exercise in a pre-series training session, is likely to get an opportunity to prove his credentials at No.3, with Ben Stokes, who batted at first drop in the second Test, likely to return to No.5.

During his absence, Bairstow has seen wicket-keeper Ben Foakes perform admirably with the gloves, and the Surrey youngster will retain ‘keeping duties in the final outing of the tour.

“I understand the reasoning behind it with the series already won,” Anderson said after confirmation he would be rested. “With the winter we’ve got ahead, it makes sense for Stuart to get some cricket. He’s not played for a while and it’s going to be a tough tour of the West Indies.

“It’s a good opportunity for him and the team. You have to look at the situation as well – it’s hard work for seamers here and it’s not like I’ve been able to have a huge input on the games.”

England have already won the three-match series, with their victory in the second Test in Kandy giving them a 2-0 lead.

ENGLAND TEAM FOR THIRD TEST: Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes (wk), Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad.

(Daily News)

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