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Broad and Bairstow return for third Test as Anderson is rested

Stuart Broad and James Anderson

Sri Lanka v England: Third Test
Venue: Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo Dates: 23-27 November Time: 04:30 GMT
Coverage: Watch and listen to The Cricket Social and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Fast bowler James Anderson has been rested for England’s third Test against Sri Lanka and replaced by Stuart Broad.

Batsman Jonny Bairstow also returns in place of injured all-rounder Sam Curran for the Test that begins on Friday.

England have already clinched the three-match series after winning the first two Tests.

Broad and Bairstow have not featured in the series while Anderson and Curran have each taken one wicket with the latter making a second-Test fifty.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, has bowled only 41 overs in the series on pitches more suited to spinners.

Neither Anderson or Curran have taken a wicket since the first innings of the first Test and in the second Test in Pallekele none of Sri Lanka’s 20 wickets fell to an England seamer.

Anderson, 36, told BBC Sport he has felt like a “spare part” during the series and he “understands” the decision to rotate the team to allow Broad to play.

“With the winter we have ahead it makes sense for Stuart to get some cricket,” he said.

“We have what will be a tough tour in the West Indies and it could be a long period without him bowling.

“To have a game under his belt is good for him and for the team.”

More to follow.

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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