Denly, Burns, Stone earn maiden Test call-ups

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Keaton Jennings and Ollie Pope have been retained, while there is no room for James Vince in the 16-strong squad.

Joe Denly, Rory Burns, and Olly Stone have all been included in an England Test squad for the first time. Joe Denly, a top-order batsman, is a contender for the opening slot and at No.3, and has been chosen also for his all-round skills, with his part-time leg-spin having proved useful for Kent.

“Joe Denly has had an excellent season with bat and ball and has matured into one of the leading players in county cricket," said national selector Ed Smith. "He has that all-round touch of class that can help at the highest level."

Joe Denly plays domestically for Kent, and has represented England in limited-overs cricket
Joe Denly plays domestically for Kent, and has represented England in limited-overs cricket

Burns' call-up was expected by all, with some having felt he should have made his debut against India. Not only has he crossed 1,000 runs in the County Championship five seasons running, he is the leading run-scorer in the competition this year, and has captained Surrey to their first Division One title since 2002.

“Rory Burns, who has led Surrey to the Championship title, has been the most consistent run-scorer in county cricket in recent seasons and fully deserves his elevation to the Test squad," said Smith. Rory is the leading Championship run-scorer this season with 1,319 at an average of 69.”

The other new face in the squad is Olly Stone, who also earned his maiden ODI call-up for England's ODI series against Sri Lanka. He can boast an excellent first-class record, averaging less than 25 with the ball, and can also reach speeds in excess of 90MPH, something England have been keen to find.

Olly Stone has developed a reputation for extreme pace
Olly Stone has developed a reputation for extreme pace

“Olly Stone is an exciting talent who bowls with pace and skill," said Smith. "His 37 wickets in the County Championship have come at an average of 12.27 and a strike rate of 22.22."

Other notable inclusions are Jennings, who many expected to be dropped after he has failed to reach fifty once in his last 10 Tests, and Ollie Pope, who made his debut against India but was dropped for Moeen Ali after his second Test appearance.

Jack Leach bowls on Test debut
Jack Leach bowls on Test debut

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who made his debut last winter against New Zealand, has also been recalled.

England's three-Test series against Sri Lanka begins on 6 November at Galle.

Squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Rory Burns, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes

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