England select uncapped Burns, Denly, Stone in test squad

(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, FILE)

LONDON (AP) England selected uncapped trio Rory Burns, Joe Denly and Olly Stone in its squad on Friday for the three tests in Sri Lanka in November.

Opening batsman Keaton Jennings retains his place despite a poor international summer, as do experienced seam bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, scotching suggestions the pair could be rested for the series.

With Alastair Cook retiring from the test scene, the selectors decided to call up Surrey opening batsman Burns and Kent all-rounder Denly.

Unlike the 28-year-old Burns, Denly has previously played limited-over international cricket, but has not been seen at the highest level since a Twenty20 in Dubai in February 2010.

Warwickshire fast bowler Stone, 24, was also picked earlier this week for the 50-over series in Sri Lanka that precedes the test matches.

"I always held on to the hope that the opportunity hadn't gone," the 32-year-old Denly said of his test call-up. "It probably helped my selection that I've batted in all positions.

"I'm very excited to get out there and see what wickets we come up against. I'm sure we will be challenged against spin bowling and hopefully, if selected, I can contribute with the ball as well as the bat," the leg-spinner added.

National selector Ed Smith explained that England was not looking for a direct replacement for Cook.

"You are already limiting your eyes and skewing your perspective by saying `it would be good if we found another Alastair Cook'," Smith said. "No-one has ever got 12,000 runs for England so the chances of finding another one the day he leaves are pretty low.

"I think what you have to try and do is to have in the squad the people who are capable of doing that job for England better than anyone else. I think that's what we've done by selecting Rory Burns, Joe Denly and also Keaton Jennings."

The first test in Galle starts on Nov. 6.

Updated September 21, 2018