November 21, 2018
England have shuffled their pack for the third and final Test against Sri Lanka that begins in Colombo on Friday. With the series decided they have chosen to use the rotation system they often talk about. So Jimmy Anderson has been omitted from the team for the first time since the Chennai Test of 2016. He will be replaced by Stuart Broad, who was a bystander in the first two Tests.
There is one other enforced change since Sam Curran’s side strain has not recovered sufficiently for him to be available for selection. Curran’s replacement is Jonny Bairstow, who is set to become England’s fifth No 3 in five Test matches. Bairstow missed the first Test match in Galle through injury and was not selected in Kandy. He will play as a specialist batsman with Ben Foakes continuing behind the stumps.
Anderson was a little gloomy at the prospect of missing a Test but half expected this news from Joe Root on Wednesday morning. So far there has been no lateral movement for him to exploit in the air and off the pitch and he has only taken one wicket in the series, the same number as England’s other pacemen, Curran and Ben Stokes.