Ben Foakes to keep wicket for unchanged England in second Test; Ben Stokes to bat at No 3
Watch the second Test between Sri Lanka and England, in Kandy, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 4am on Wednesday
Last Updated: 14/11/18 5:12am
Ben Foakes will keep wicket for an unchanged England in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Kandy, with Ben Stokes set to bat at No 3.
Jonny Bairstow, despite being available for selection, will sit out again having missed England's 211-run victory in Galle with an ankle injury he sustained playing football in training last month.
Foakes starred in Bairstow's absence, scoring 107 in his debut Test innings and also impressing behind the stumps as England claimed their maiden victory in Galle and first away from home under Joe Root's captaincy.
The only change the tourists have made for the game - which is live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 4am on Wednesday - is in their batting order. Moeen Ali will bat at No 6 after scoring nought and three at No 3 in the first Test, with Stokes promoted up the order to replace him.
"Ben [Foakes] is going to keep. We've come to Sri Lanka to win this tour and in these conditions, I think he is the best option behind the stumps," said Root. "It's a great opportunity for Ben to show his ability and I think you've got to reward a performance like last week.
"[Stokes'] game is in good shape and he is more than capable of batting at three. Ben's technique is sound and he will be able to adapt to this role.
"He is one of the fittest guys in the side, so the intensity of batting in the top order and bowling as one of our three seamers will not faze him.
"If we feel that he has done a tremendous workload with the ball, then we can adapt and alter the order if it's necessary, but I don't expect that to happen. Ben is relishing the added responsibility of doing a job at three."
Having had a good look at the surface, we feel the side that won the first Test will give us the best opportunity for us to get something out of this Test. The balance of the team is ideal for these conditions and we can also adapt if the situation dictates.
On Bairstow missing out, Root added: "Trevor [Bayliss] and I have spoken to him about finding the right balance for this Test with the conditions we are expecting. He understands the situation and is aware that we have to pick the side that is best suited to conditions we can expect in Kandy.
"It is unfortunate that he missed out through injury in the first Test. He is an integral part of our plans and is a key member of our core squad and his experience around the group is important."
Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya will retain his place - the 25-year-old's action was reported to the ICC following the Galle Test by umpires Chris Gaffaney and Marais Erasmus and he has been given 14 days to undergo assessment at an ICC testing centre, but can bowl in the interim.
"Whenever you see someone have a question mark against their action, you hope they can get through that testing and that it doesn't hamper their career," Root said of Dananjaya, who took a combined 2-183 in Galle. "Hopefully he gets cleared because it's never nice to see.
"Ultimately, for us, we played him pretty well throughout the last game and we'll just have to try and do exactly the same this time. It doesn't really matter what his action is like - it's how well we play him."
Sri Lanka captain Suranga Lakmal, who is now in charge for the rest of the series following Dinesh Chandimal's groin injury, added of Dananjaya: "He will play and correct his mistake.
"I talked to him and said 'don't worry about anything - just focus on this game'. He's bowled well in the past and he has to do that again. Getting reported is just another thing, forget that and bowl well in this game."
England: R Burns, K Jennings, B Stokes, J Root (c), J Buttler, M Ali, B Foakes, (wkt), S Curran, A Rashid, J Leach, J Anderson
Sri Lanka (possible): D Karunaratne, K Silva, D De Silva, K Mendis, A Mathews, R Silva, N Dickwella (wkt), D Perera, A Dananjaya, S Lakmal (c), L Sandakan
Watch day one of the second Test between England and Sri Lanka, in Kandy, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) from 4am on Wednesday.