Mark Wood picked for back-to-back Tests, with Olly Stone missing out on recall
James Anderson has been recalled by England for Friday’s second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, at the expense of his long-term new-ball partner Stuart Broad, in a solitary change to the side that won the first Test by seven wickets earlier this week.
Broad excelled in tricky conditions for fast bowling in the opening match, claiming 3 for 20 in Sri Lanka’s first-innings total of 135, before serving up 11 maidens out of 17 in their second to help restrict England’s eventual target to a manageable 74.
However, with England keen to manage their first-bowling resources with four Tests looming against India, Broad has been sidelined for now, with Anderson demonstrating his readiness for action during England’s truncated intra-squad warm-up in Hambantota earlier this month, where he claimed two economical wickets in his eight-over spell.
A second change to the fast-bowling ranks had been anticipated, with Mark Wood earmarked for a break after toiling through 27 wicketless overs at Galle last week.
Wood’s fellow 90mph fast bowler, Olly Stone, had been touted for a second Test appearance after impressing in practice in recent days – especially given the concerns over Wood’s workload given his regular injury issues.
However, Wood has been inked in for back-to-back Tests – just as he was in South Africa this time last year, where he starred in the second of those contests with a Player-of-the-Match performance. Instead, he looks set to be one of the players rotated out of England’s squad for the first two Tests in India, which is due to be announced later on Thursday.
“It’s going to be a big challenge throughout this winter,” Joe Root, England’s captain, told the BBC prior to the team announcement. “As a bowling group in particular, we’re very aware for us to win and do well this winter, it is going to take a squad effort. It’s not going to take two or three players, it will take a real squad effort.
“It’s very important that when these guys get their opportunity, they throw absolutely everything into the games that they play. I thought the guys did brilliantly in the first game. Whoever gets the opportunity in the second game has to better that. That’s a really exciting place for us to be as a squad.”
England team for second Test 1 Dominic Sibley, 2 Zak Crawley, 3 Jonny Bairstow, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Dan Lawrence, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Dominic Bess, 9 Jack Leach, 10 Mark Wood, 11 James Anderson