England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday recalled Jonny Bairstow to the Test squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka but rested Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
Bairstow has played just one Test match for England since the 2019 Ashes and even lost his central contract from the longest format of the game in September.
All-rounder Stokes and fast bowler Stokes are not part of the 16-man squad but will rejoin the England set-up in February for the red-ball and white-ball series against India.
Top-order-batsman Rory Burns will miss Sri Lanka Tests as his wife is expecting the birth of their first child in the second week of January.
Ollie Pope, who is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained during the home series against Pakistan in September, will join the squad and continue his rehabilitation in preparation for the four-match Test series against India starting in February.
The English squad led by Joe Root will depart for Sri Lanka on January 2 and shall play two Tests behind closed doors at the Galle International Cricket Stadium, starting on January 14 and January 22.
England squad for Sri Lanka Tests:
Joe Root (c), 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.