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England announce playing XI for 2nd Test against Sri Lanka, Jimmy Anderson returns

England Cricket Team
England Cricket Team
Modified 21 Jan 2021

Following a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in the first Test, thanks primarily to dismissing Sri Lanka for a paltry 135 on the opening day, England have made a slight change going into the second encounter.

With under a day to go before the start of the second and final Test of the series, England have announced their playing XI that features one change. Veteran seamer James Anderson replaces his partner in crime Stuart Broad.

There was speculation that the touring party might tinker with their whole pace-bowling battery, with Chris Woakes and the uncapped Olly Stone in contention.

However, Joe Root and the team management have decided to keep the same bowling attack barring one change.

Stuart Broad bowled a sensational spell on the opening day of the first Test. He took an economical 3/20 in the first innings, and troubled the hosts with his bag of subtle tricks and wicket-to-wicket bowling.

Joe Root says England will show faith in Sibley and Crawley

Joe Root has also decided to stick with the inexperienced opening pair of Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley for the second Test.

The duo's frailties against spin-bowling were exposed in the series-opener, but the English skipper feels that the two batsmen are very quick learners and will adapt to the challenge sooner than later. Root said:

"They are two very smart players that will make sure they will give a good account of themselves in this second game. They have certainly done everything possible to do so in practice. They are two very fast learners; they are two people who have overcome some difficulties in their very short careers."

England have now won five Tests on the trot in Sri Lanka - a run that dates back to 2012. They will be looking to complete a series whitewash in order to bolster their qualification chances for the ICC World Test Championship Final later this year.

England’s Playing XI: Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (captain), Dan Lawrence, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Mark Wood, James Anderson.

Published 21 Jan 2021, 19:59 IST
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