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

Stuart Broad and James Anderson
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 nor 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, 32, 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, 29, has been England's regular wicketkeeper but was injured for the first Test. In his absence, 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 sustained a minor side injury in the second Test, and England have opted to strengthen their batting with Bairstow, rather than replace the 20-year-old with Chris Woakes - another all-rounder - or uncapped fast bowler Olly Stone.

Sri Lanka have called up top-order batsman Dhanushka Gunathilake in place of uncapped all-rounder Charith Asalanka, who was in the hosts' squad for the second Test but did not feature.

Gunathilake has played five Tests, most recently against South Africa in July.

Sri Lanka are without injured captain Dinesh Chandimal and spinner Akila Dananjaya, who is having his bowling action investigated in Australia. Suranga Lakmal continues as stand-in captain.


England team for third Test: Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes (wk), Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad.


Broad returns after work with Hadlee

Stuart Broad
Broad has played 123 Tests since his debut against Sri Lanka in 2007

Broad is England's second most successful Test bowler with 433 wickets, behind only Anderson with 565, but was left out of the first Test as England opted to play three spinners.

He returns to the team at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo - the ground where he made his Test debut in 2007 - and will do so with a new, shortened bowling run-up.

The 32-year-old has been working with New Zealand legend Sir Richard Hadlee, who took 431 wickets in 86 Tests between 1973 and 1990.

"Stuart has done a lot of research and a lot of hard work on his action," Anderson said.

"When he started doing work on his run-up he got in touch with Sir Richard and was talking about being economical in his run-up and extending his career as long as he could.

"I saw the email he [Broad] got sent. It was very detailed and thorough. He has put that into practice and it's really working for him.

"I have not seen Stuart work as hard as he has."

Sir Richard Hadlee
Hadlee is regarded as one of the game's greatest fast bowlers and all-rounders

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