Keaton Jennings and Ben Foakes have been recalled for England's Test series in Sri Lanka but there is no place for Jonny Bairstow or James Anderson.

Jennings has not played for his country since being dropped following the series defeat to West Indies a year ago, but the opening batsman returns along with Foakes.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Foakes has also been overlooked since the loss in the Caribbean, despite making such an impressive start to his England career in Sri Lanka in November 2018.

Jennings and Foakes both scored centuries in a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka, where the latter was named man of the series.

Bairstow was brought back into the Test squad for the recent 3-1 win in South Africa, but failed in both innings of the defeat at Centurion and played no part in the rest of the series.

The Yorkshireman misses out along with Anderson, who will continue his recovery from the cracked rib suffered in the second Test at Newlands to prepare for the English season.

"Jonny Bairstow has been in England squads across the three formats without a significant break," said national selector Ed Smith. "This two-Test tour presents a good opportunity for Jonny to be rested.

"Jimmy Anderson will continue to work with Lancashire and the ECB so that he is ready for the start of the County Championship season leading into the Test series against the West Indies in June."

All-rounder Moeen Ali remains unavailable selection in the longest format, but fellow spinner Jack Leach has recovered from illness to take his place in the 16-man squad.

Uncapped leg-spinner Matt Parkinson is also included for the two-match series, which starts in Galle on March 19.

 

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

James Anderson does not know if he has reached his peak yet, with England's record wicket-taker talking up the possibility of playing beyond his 40th birthday.

The 37-year-old has taken 584 Test wickets and has a further 269 to his name in one-day cricket, making him the most prolific bowler for his country in both formats.

But despite his advancing age and recent injury issues, Anderson believes his best cricket may still be ahead of him. 

He told Sky Sports on Sunday: "There's always going to be that element of, ‘Well he's 37'. There's a stigma for some reason around sportsmen getting to a certain age with a, 'Well, it's about time he moved on' sort of thing. For me, I genuinely don't know if I've peaked yet as a bowler.

"For me, in my head, why does 37 have to be towards the end? Cooky [Alastair Cook] said he's not going to be playing when he's 45 – probably not, but I've seen bowlers go into their 40s. It's not impossible."

Anderson's latest fitness setback came when he sustained a broken rib during the second Test against South Africa in early January.

The Lancashire paceman recently outlined his goal to return for the tour of Sri Lanka, which starts in March. 

"I've been training for a few weeks now, getting my bowling back up to speed. I feel really good," he told Sky Sports on Friday.

"The aim for me is to get fit for whatever is next and, at the moment, that is Sri Lanka."

James Anderson has told England's selectors he wants a seat on the plane to Sri Lanka next month.

England's record wicket-taker says he has recovered fully from the broken rib he sustained during the second Test victory over South Africa in early January.

That blow forced him to miss the third and fourth Tests, both of which England won to tie up a 3-1 series success.

Anderson, 37, hopes England pick him for the two-Test trip to Sri Lanka, even though he has struggled at times on tour against the Lions, in conditions not conducive to the Lancashire paceman masterful seam and swing.

He took just one wicket across two Tests in a November 2018 series, with Jack Leach, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali spinning England to a 2-0 lead before being rested for the third match, which the tourists also won.

Anderson said he was now "all healed" from his rib setback and doing gym work - welcome news for England, given Jofra Archer will miss the Sri Lanka series because of an elbow injury.

"I've been training for a few weeks now, getting my bowling back up to speed. I feel really good," Anderson told Sky Sports.

"The aim for me is to get fit for whatever is next and, at the moment, that is Sri Lanka.

"With a broken bone, you are just waiting for that to heal, you've not lost any fitness. It's about building my bowling back up now. We've got a month before that tour, so we have to just wait and see what the selectors think."

With 584 wickets, Anderson has claimed the most victims of any fast bowler in Test history.

"If I'm fit I want to be playing for England, wherever that might be," he said.

"I showed in South Africa that I can still do it abroad. I think I've been unlucky in the last few months with injuries, but I think my record before that has been pretty good injury-wise."

James Anderson will miss the remainder of England's Test series against South Africa due to a rib injury.

Anderson, the tourists' all-time leading Test wicket-taker, sustained the damage to his left rib during day five of England's victory in the second Test at Newlands.

The 37-year-old could only bowl eight overs as England strived to level the series in Cape Town and he will play no part in the matches in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

 

James Anderson was heading for a scan amid a fresh fitness worry on Wednesday, with England team director Ashley Giles saying it "would be desperate" for the veteran to face a new lay-off.

England's record wicket-taker in Test cricket was barely involved with the ball after lunch on day five of the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

The tourists won by 189 runs, with Ben Stokes stepping up to take the last three wickets in dramatic fashion.

Concern over an apparent side strain for 37-year-old Anderson was expressed once the match was over, and Giles said on Wednesday morning: "Jimmy will have to have a scan today which we've got all fingers crossed for.

"It would be desperate if Jim is injured again. He's worked so hard to get back in the team."

Anderson has reclaimed his place in the England side following a calf injury, which forced him to miss all but the opening morning of the Ashes Tests against Australia last year.

He took five South African wickets in the first innings at Newlands, and removed two batsmen second time around before being forced out of the attack.

It remains to be seen whether he will be fit for the third Test, which starts in Port Elizabeth on January 16.

"We certainly don't think it's a recurrence of his previous injury," Giles said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He bowled like a demon in that first innings. That mix of youth and experience we have in the team is just so valuable and he's been such a great servant. We're holding our breath and fingers crossed for him."

Anderson at least appeared to be in good spirits on Wednesday, as he wrote on Twitter: "What a start to 2020! Every man played their part in a fantastic win. Victory always tastes sweeter when you have to graft into the last hour on day 5!"

James Anderson was delighted to make a telling contribution following a "rusty" return to England duty, as he helped the tourists take command of the second Test against South Africa.

After struggling to make an impact in the series opener at Centurion, a game the Proteas won by 107 runs, Anderson has been back to his best in Cape Town, claiming the 28th five-wicket haul of his distinguished Test career.

The Lancashire seamer picked up the final two wickets in South Africa's first innings on the third morning to finish with 5-40, in the process securing his side a useful 46-run lead as they came out to bat again.

Dominic Sibley's unbeaten 85 helped increase their advantage, the opener putting on a 116-run stand with Joe Root (61) as England reached the close on Sunday on 218-4, putting them 264 ahead with plenty of time remaining in the contest.

Speaking after the close of play to Sky Sports, Anderson admitted he had been nervous on his comeback at SuperSport Park, having not played for his country since suffering a calf injury on the opening day of the Ashes series in August.

"What happened at Birmingham, with me pulling up after four overs [on the first day], I didn't want that to happen again," he said. "You are a bit nervous about that, plus I wanted to bowl well.

"I don't know if I was trying too hard, but I was desperate to prove my place in the team. Looking back, overall I was a bit rusty. I needed that extra game to get match fit."

Anderson added: "I'm so grateful for the help I've had getting me fit again. I have worked hard to get back and I feel in really good shape, felt in brilliant rhythm yesterday. That's what I've missed - real, proper Test cricket gives you a buzz when you get out there and get some wickets."

The 37-year-old managed just two wickets in the first Test - his 150th - but kept his place in the XI, yet he acknowledges there is plenty of competition considering the pace-bowling resources England have in their squad.

"With the bowling group we've got here, everyone is pushing each other," Anderson said. "We have so much talent; Mark Wood is coming back from injury, we've got Chris Woakes and Craig Overton really pushing hard to get into this team.

"It keeps you on your toes, you've got to keep performing and keep working hard at your game to keep them out. It makes for healthy competition."

As for the match situation, Anderson praised Sibley and Root for their application in the middle, something that was lacking for England first time around as a number of batsmen failed to capitalise on promising starts.

"I think it was a good day, a really good day to be honest," Anderson said.

"We wanted to be ruthless with the ball this morning and we were, then with the bat we made a point that everyone got a start in the first innings but did not go on. We wanted someone who, once they got in, would stick in there.

"That's exactly what Dom and Rooty did. It was a great partnership between them. It’s unfortunate with the two late wickets, but that happens in Test cricket. Generally, it was a good day and we are in a good position going into tomorrow."

Sam Curran said England must dismiss South Africa early on day three and "bat big" after Ben Stokes' catches and a fired-up pace attack gave them the edge in the second Test at Newlands.

Curran and Stuart Broad took two wickets apiece on Saturday, while James Anderson claimed 3-34 to leave the Proteas 215-8 at stumps in reply to the tourists' 269 all out, having been 157-3 shortly after tea.

Stokes took four slip catches and put down two other chances, leaving him one away from becoming the first England fielder, excluding wicketkeepers, to grab five in a Test innings.

South Africa trail by 54 runs and Curran says England must take command on Sunday as they strive to level the four-match series at 1-1.

"What a way to finish the day. Hopefully we can get a lead," Curran told Sky Sports.

"We're in a good position. Hopefully we can get those two wickets in the morning and bat big."

Dean Elgar (88) and Rassie van der Dussen (68) were looking like giving the hosts a platform to build a big lead, the latter capitalising on being given a reprieve when he edged behind on 16, but Broad overstepped.

Spinner Dom Bess bowled 27 overs, foraging for an opening before he claimed the crucial fourth-wicket breakthrough, drawing Elgar into a hoik that found the safe hands of Joe Root.

"Bessy did an amazing job. There's not much for the seamers and not much for Bessy," Curran said.

"That is a flat wicket but at the same time there is a channel that we're trying to hit. It's about being as patient as possible and every now and again there's something there."

Kevin Pietersen says either James Anderson or Stuart Broad should be dropped for the Newlands Test against South Africa, but Jofra Archer is a doubt for England.

England were soundly beaten in the first match of the four-Test series after captain Joe Root won the toss and put the hosts in, South Africa easing to a 107-run victory inside four days.

With Jack Leach among 11 players struck down by illness, England played without a frontline spinner at Centurion but they are expected to rejig their attack for the second Test, which starts on Friday in Cape Town.

Archer took five wickets in South Africa's second innings while Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, managed only a single scalp in each dig on his return to Test action after injury.

However, Archer could not bowl on Wednesday due to a sore right elbow, though the fast bowler joined in with fielding drills and was fit enough to bat in the nets.

Root's side were rolled for 181 and 268 at Centurion and their former star Pietersen feels either Broad or Anderson should be sacrificed to strengthen a struggling batting line-up.

"England HAVE TO drop either Broad or Anderson for Newlands & play another batter, if they want to win...!" the South Africa-born former batsman wrote on Twitter.

Leach's Somerset team-mate Dom Bess is a spinning option for England, while Lancashire's uncapped leggie Matt Parkinson, 23, is also in the squad.

Reports have suggested England are likely to replace Anderson with Bess, with Ollie Pope also in line to return in the middle order at the expense of Jonny Bairstow after recovering from illness.

England coach Chris Silverwood says he will have no issues dropping James Anderson or Stuart Broad for the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Silverwood's side lost the first Test at Centurion by 107 runs, with the batsmen again failing to deliver as concerns over their suitability for the longest format once more came to the fore.

Anderson, featuring for the first time since the first Ashes Test in August, took a wicket with the match's first delivery and finished with figures of 2-116, while Broad finished on 5-100.

Though pleased with the experience and know-how his veteran pacemen provide, Silverwood – who elected not to go with a spinner at Centurion – insisted neither are certainties to play with Sam Curran and Jofra Archer impressing.

"In Jimmy and Stuart we have a wealth of experience and we'd be really stupid not to take that into consideration every game," Silverwood told reporters.

"It would be naive of us not to do that. But equally you do want your youngsters to come through and if we're going to make room for a spinner then we've got to have a look at that.

"We have to look at which seamers will be right for that particular pitch and choose from there. If there is a big decision to be made, we're not afraid to make it.

"We started off planning to bowl at the top of off [stump] on the third morning. Then the tailenders frustrated us and we went off-piste a bit at that point.

"We formulated a new plan and that worked well. We've got to make sure that when we're bowling we're very clear on what we have to do and we stick to the plan."

Silverwood also pledged to stand by Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, who have both struggled for Test runs this year.

"We've just got to keep backing them as we know they're both very fine players," Silverwood said. "They're an asset to a team.

"Jonny wasn't in the team going into New Zealand, but he did a lot of work behind the scenes.

"He was in Potchefstroom and then Cape Town with the fast-bowling group, facing the bowlers and working on his game. He worked particularly hard and earned his way back into this team.

"We know Jos is a fine player and we know he can hurt people. We've got to keep giving him the opportunity to do that."

Sam Curran led the way for England as his four-wicket haul helped the visitors restrict South Africa to 277-9 on day one of the first Test at Centurion.

With Ben Stokes unable to bowl due to struggling with illness and dehydration, Curran seized the initiative to reward Joe Root's decision to put the Proteas in after winning the toss.

His dismissal of Quinton de Kock for 95 was crucial, with South Africa's wicketkeeper-batsman having frustrated England after coming in with the hosts wobbling at 97-4.

De Kock had got lucky on his way to a 45-ball fifty; James Anderson, who dismissed Dean Elgar with the first delivery of his 150th Test appearance, missed a difficult chance as Joe Root, England’s spin option in a seam-heavy attack, twice went close.

It was Curran's day, though, as the 21-year-old rounded off a fine performance with the vital breakthrough when a century for the left-hander looked a certainty, giving England the edge at stumps.

Back in action at Test level for the first time since the start of the Ashes in August, Anderson made an instant impact, Elgar caught down leg as he feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Determined not to be outdone, Curran wasted little time in making his mark, taking just four deliveries to draw Aiden Markram into a tame flick that was well caught by Jonny Bairstow.

Faf du Plessis and Zubayr Hamza managed to steady the ship for the home team, though the latter eventually went on 39 to Stuart Broad as South Africa reached lunch on 79-3.

With Jofra Archer and Anderson toiling in the afternoon, Curran was reintroduced – and immediately sent back Rassie van der Dussen, who saw a defensive prod only provide Root with a simple catch at first slip.

South Africa skipper Du Plessis provided his counterpart with a simple catch from Broad's bowling soon after too, leading to De Kock taking an aggressive approach in tricky circumstances.

Riding his luck at times, the 27-year-old cruised to a quick fifty, with Dwaine Pretorius (33) providing some welcome support.

Though Curran ended a sixth-wicket stand worth 87 after the restart, De Kock began to show greater discipline as he continued to drag South Africa up towards 300.

Yet Curran finally had his man when a full delivery nipped away slightly, with a thin edge going through to Buttler. He thought he had a five-for soon after, only for Keshav Maharaj to successfully review an lbw decision thanks to an inside edge.

Archer instead ended Maharaj's short stay at the crease and Kagiso Rabada succumbed to Broad in the closing stages, the fall of the ninth wicket ending proceedings on the opening day.

James Anderson is in "fantastic physical condition" as he prepares to play for England in their opening warm-up match in South Africa, according to head coach Chris Silverwood.

The Lancashire seamer has not featured for his country since suffering a calf injury in the first Ashes Test against Australia at the start of August, missing the recent tour of New Zealand as he continued his rehabilitation.

However, the 37-year-old - England's leading wicket-taker in the longest format - was included in the squad for the four-Test series against South Africa, which begins in Centurion on Boxing Day.

Before then, however, the tourists have a two-day fixture against a Cricket South Africa Invitational XI in Benoni, with the game getting under way on Tuesday.

Anderson is set to feature as he aims to prove his fitness ahead of the opener at SuperSport Park, according to a tweet from his county, with Silverwood impressed by the experienced bowler's displays during practice.

"He [Anderson] is in fantastic physical condition," Silverwood told the media. "Watching him in the nets it looks like he's right in rhythm, he looks strong and he's doing what Jimmy does with the ball. He gets wickets.

The Proteas - who have appointed Mark Boucher as their new head coach - have named six uncapped players in their squad for the first two Tests.

Pacemen Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks, batsmen Pieter Malan and Rassie van der Dussen, all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius and wicketkeeper-batsman Rudi Second were all selected, along with opening batsman Aiden Markram, who missed the third and final Test against India in October due to a wrist injury.

Lungi Ngidi and Wiaan Mulder, however, are both ruled out.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have paid tribute to "true great" Bob Willis after the ex-England captain died at the age of 70.

Willis passed away on Wednesday after a short illness, prompting an outpouring of recognition for his career and warm words from those who had known him in the cricketing world.

When he retired in 1984, Willis was England's record Test wicket-taker with 325.

Along with Ian Botham, Anderson and Broad surpassed that tally and the duo were aware cricket had lost a huge force following the news about Willis, who had a long broadcasting career after his playing days came to an end.

"Incredibly sad to hear the news about Bob Willis," Anderson, who sits top of the list for England with 575 Test wickets, wrote on Twitter.

"He was a true great, generous in sharing his knowledge about the game and a lovely man."

Broad, who has 471 Test wickets to his name, wrote on social media: "Gutted to hear the news of Bob Willis passing. 

"A lovely person with a great humour who was so proud of England cricket. Legend."

Former England captain David Gower worked closely with Willis, both as a team-mate during their on-field careers before joining forces again at Sky Sports.

"It is very sad and it is equally sad that the end seemed to come very quickly," Gower said.

"The last time I saw Bob was a few weeks ago and he was still fighting heroically. He did his best to ignore what was happening to him. 

"He was still on television up until very recently. He was still very forthright and it brings to an end, in my case, a friendship that has lasted happily for 40 years or so."

Willis was perhaps most recognised for his contribution to England's famous Ashes series win over Australia in 1981, including figures of 8-43 in a dramatic Headingley Test.

Gower added: "Bob's performance at Headingley in 1981 - without that, England come second in that game and we probably wouldn't have had the wherewithal to win the next couple of games as well. 

"Ian got top billing in 1981 because of three stellar performances, but Bob's one performance at Headingley was as crucial because without that win, we would have lost that series."

Jonny Bairstow will work with Jonathan Trott in South Africa in a bid to regain his place in the England Test side.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was dropped for the ongoing Test series in New Zealand after a disappointing Ashes on home soil.

Bairstow – who played against the Black Caps in a 3-2 Twenty20 series win - will fly out to Potchefstroom to be coached by former England batsman Trott in December.

In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board said the trip has been scheduled for the 30-year-old right-hander “with the aim of returning to the Test squad”.

James Anderson and Mark Wood will step up their rehabilitation from injury as they strive to prove their fitness for the upcoming tour of South Africa.

Fellow seamers Olly Stone, Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson will also attend a specialist pace bowling camp, which will be held in Potchefstroom between December 1-14.

Sri Lanka legend Rangana Herath, meanwhile, will pass on his expertise to spinners Dom Bess, Mason Crane and Amar Virdi.

Batsmen Will Jacks, James Bracey, Dan Lawrence, Keaton Jennings and Sam Hain are to benefit from the wisdom of former England batsman and current Surrey assistant head coach Vikram Solanki.

New Zealand consigned England to an innings defeat in the first Test at Mount Maunganui on Monday.

England's coaching staff are hopeful James Anderson will be fit to feature in the upcoming tour of South Africa, according to Ashley Giles.

Anderson has not travelled with England's Test squad for the two-match tour of New Zealand, which starts next week.

The 37-year-old - England's record wicket-taker in red-ball cricket - sustained a calf injury in the first Ashes Test, which saw him miss the rest of the series.

However, England's managing director Giles is confident Anderson, who will be attending a pre-tour training camp in South Africa, will be able to face the Proteas.

"Jimmy is going out to Potchefstroom," Giles told BBC Sport. "We're hopeful. We think he is on track, which is great. The medical team are happy.

"The older you get these things tend to linger longer. We felt no point forcing it for this short tour.

"It will be interesting to see the pitches we play on in South Africa. I think they'll be green and they'll go for a bowler war and take us on. It's not something I'd take on with Jofra Archer and Jimmy Anderson, but it will be an exciting series."

Joe Root's captaincy was called into question at times through the Ashes, with Australia retaining the urn.

However, Giles stressed the plan is for the Yorkshireman to lead England during the next Ashes, which takes place in Australia in 2021-22.

"We have talked about Joe leading and winning in Australia. We've not said 'maybe if you get there.' We plan for him to be our captain," Giles added.

"That series will come around quickly as we know with the business of the schedules. None of us know what is around the corner, things can change quickly. But in our planning when we sat down even before the Headingley Test we were looking to Australia.

"That's the holy grail for Joe. Going to Australia and winning is the big prize and we have enough time to plan for that."

James Anderson remains hungry to play for England after missing the Ashes - and has backed Joe Root to carry on as Test captain.

Seamer Anderson bowled just four overs on the first day of the opener against Australia due to a calf injury, though it was initially hoped he would still feature in the rest of the series.

However, while attempting to prove his fitness before the fourth Test at his home ground of Old Trafford, the 37-year-old suffered a setback on duty for Lancashire's second XI, ruling him out of contention.

Yet despite a disappointing 2019 so far, Anderson remains determined to get back to full fitness and turn out for his country again.

"At the minute, I'm just focusing on getting fit again. I've still got the hunger and desire to play for England," Anderson told Omnisport.

"As I've said before this year, up until I got injured, I've been bowling as well as I ever have, so I've still got the hunger there to get through this, do the rehab and get my body in good shape again and hopefully get onto a winter tour."

Without their all-time leading wicket-taker in the longest format, England have come up short in their bid to regain the Ashes on home soil.

Defeat in Manchester on Sunday means Australia - who won the previous series 4-0 - hold a 2-1 lead with just this week’s finale at the Oval to go.

Root's position as skipper has come into question in the aftermath of the fourth Test, though Anderson is adamant England do not need a captaincy change despite concerns extra responsibility has hampered the Yorkshireman's batting.

"I certainly think he's the right man for the job," Anderson said. "He's done some great work with the Test side over the last few years.

"From the team's point of view, we've shown glimpses of what we can do but been a little bit inconsistent. So it's about finding that consistency as a group.

"And I think he [Root] will be as disappointed as anyone with his form. It's a tricky one, whether if he had batted [at number] four it would make any difference.

"I don't think his captaincy is necessarily affecting his batting, he's just not scored the runs that he would have liked in the series."


James Anderson was speaking on behalf of ‘The Test Experts’ Specsavers, Official Test Partner for England cricket ahead of the final Test of the Specsavers Ashes Series at The Oval. Specsavers are encouraging fans to take eye and ear tests this summer.

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