Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has been added to England’s Test squad in Sri Lanka as cover for Jonny Bairstow.
Foakes is rated as the best gloveman on the county circuit and, although uncapped, he has previous tour experience having travelled to Australia as back-up in the 2017/18 Ashes series.
His latest chance – announced by his county – comes after Bairstow suffered ligament damage in his right ankle while playing football on the eve of the penultimate one-day international.
He has already been ruled out of Saturday’s Twenty20 match and is being continually assessed by England medical staff ahead of the first Test in Galle on November 6.
The tourists had been keen to carry too large a squad, with Foakes taking their number to 17 for a three-match series, but have a pair of two-day warm-ups scheduled in Colombo next week and Bairstow has no guarantee of being fit.
Wicketkeeper is likely to be a critical position over the coming weeks, with turning pitches virtually guaranteed and lots of tricky work up standing up to the stumps expected.
Jos Buttler has been doing the job in the limited-overs series but has not been at his tidiest and while Rory Burns and Ollie Pope have kept at county level both are international rookies and England would prefer not to ask either to shoulder the burden.
Foakes will link up with the team over the weekend, while the rest of England’s Test specialists touched down in Colombo to begin acclimatisation work on Thursday afternoon.
Know more about Sport360 Application