England have rested Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes for the two-Test tour to Sri Lanka in January, while there is a recall for Jonny Bairstow.

All-rounder Stokes is not involved following the recent death of his father, Ged, while paceman Archer is given a break following a busy year.

Both players will return to Test duty in February against India, with England’s squad planning to fly directly to Chennai from Colombo ahead of that four-match series.

Opening batsman Rory Burns is another absentee from the 16-man group travelling to Sri Lanka; he will remain at home for the birth of his first child.

As for those that do make the trip, Bairstow is involved again having not played in the longest format since the first Test of the series against South Africa in December 2019.

The right-handed batsman averages 34.74 in his Test career with six centuries, including scoring 110 against Sri Lanka in Colombo just over two years ago when batting at number three in the order.

There is a place for uncapped Essex batsman Dan Lawrence too, while Moeen Ali, Dom Bess and Jack Leach provide spin options in the party.

England depart on January 2 for Hambantota, where the squad will prepare for action. Both Tests are to be staged in Galle.

Ollie Pope – who is still recovering from shoulder surgery – will join the party to continue his rehab work ahead of the tour to India, while a seven-man group of reserves has been announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

England Test squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.