Five players England could bring in as they chase series whitewash in Sri Lanka

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England are chasing a clean sweep in Sri Lanka after winning the Tests in Galle and Kandy with an unchanged XI.

Here, Press Association looks at the five squad members who have yet to see action and assesses their chances of making the team sheet on Friday.

Stuart Broad

Dropped from the side for just the second time in a decade, England’s decision to leave 433 Test wickets on the sidelines was a bold one.

So far it has paid off, but if the pitch at SSC looks to have any pace and carry in it, he would immediately come back into contention for new ball duties at the expense of a spinner.

Broad could also replace his long-term partner James Anderson should the latter be rested, but at 36 the veteran is unlikely to skip a Test lightly.

Jonny Bairstow

A nailed on starter before injuring his ankle while playing football, he now finds himself behind Ben Foakes in the wicketkeeping stakes and Jos Buttler in the batting ranks. Bairstow would probably come back into a rebalanced side in home conditions, so there will be a temptation to draft him back in this week.

He can be sensitive about his role in the pecking order and a show of support, possibly lengthening the batting order, could do wonders.

England Media Access

Chris Woakes

Injury problems have kept the Warwickshire man to just four Test appearances in 2018 and England might view this as a good chance to ease him back into action.

If Sam Curran’s side strain rules him out Woakes would easily slot into his place as a seam-bowling all-rounder.

The 29-year-old is currently one of the leading candidates to carry the attack when Anderson and Broad eventually exit the scene and experience in these conditions would serve him well.

England Media Access

Olly Stone

If the series were still alive the chances of Stone getting a look in would be slim indeed. As it is, England could decide to nudge him to the front of the queue to see what impact his pace can have at this level.

He started the one-day series well before tailing off and will have been picking the brains of his more experienced team-mates over the past few weeks.

If he is one day going to be the battering ram of the attack in places like Australia and South Africa, he will need to get his feet under the table – what better time than a dead rubber?


Joe Denly

The Kent man is a rank outsider to make his Test debut here, and may never get the chance. He had the opportunity to lock down a gig at number three, but neither his batting nor his leg-spin passed muster in the warm-up matches.

England cricket
James Anderson (cricket)
Joe Denly
Olly Stone
Chris Woakes
Jonny Bairstow
Joe Root
Stuart Broad

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