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Fresh faces called up for England's Sri Lanka tour


Call-up: Rory Burns
Call-up: Rory Burns

By Rory Dollard

Uncapped batsmen Rory Burns and Joe Denly have been named in England's Test squad to tour Sri Lanka, alongside fellow rookie Olly Stone.

Alastair Cook's retirement after 161 Tests left Ed Smith's selection panel with a top-order conundrum which has been solved by a long-awaited summons for Surrey captain Burns and a return for 32-year-old Denly.

Unlike Burns, the Kent veteran has played white-ball international cricket before, but has not been seen at the highest level since a Twenty20 in Dubai in February 2010.

Keaton Jennings, Cook's last opening partner, retains his place in a 16-man squad despite a poor summer and senior seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad will both travel.

Warwickshire seamer Stone continues his rapid ascent by taking his place alongside the established duo.

In the spin department, which is likely to be a major factor on the turning decks at Galle, Kandy and Colombo, Somerset's Jack Leach returns alongside established pair Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

Leach played his only Test in Christchurch before injury struck and could get the chance to play a big role.

Surrey prospect Ollie Pope also gets the nod, edging the more experienced James Vince for the final batting slot.

Smith said: "Rory Burns has been the most consistent run scorer in county cricket in recent seasons, Joe Denly has had an excellent season with bat and ball and Olly Stone is an exciting talent who bowls with pace and skill."

Belfast Telegraph


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