Title: Star player injured ahead of big series, Replacement announced

England has called up the uncapped Ben Foakes as cover for their first choice keeper-batsman in Johnny Bairstow. Johnny had damaged his ligament in the right ankle while playing football on the eve of the penultimate ODI in the Sri Lanka- England ODI series. Bairstow has already been ruled out of the one-off T20 which gets underway on Saturday.

Although Jos Butler did the job in the limited overs series and impressed many eyes in the test series against India, England would like to have a test specialist. Ben Foakes is considered to be the best gloveman in England, in the county circuit and he is likely to play the first two warm-up matches. Foakes’ patience and temperament will be tested in Sri Lanka.

Another question is how will Foakes fare on the spinning tracks. England’s spin woes are very well known and Sri Lanka will very much look to exploit them by preparing turning tracks. Bairstow is a good player of spin and his presence in the middle-order will be missed, if he does get ruled out. The first test will be all the more crucial as Sri Lanka will be looking to a winning send-off to their legend, Rangana Hearth. 

Even though the England test squad has already arrived in Sri Lanka, Foakes is expected to join them this weekend. Johnny hasn’t got much time left to recover as the first test gets underway on November 6. England will look to bounce back in style, given that they were handed their biggest ever defeat in an ODI when the hosts defeated them with a collosal margin of 219 runs. It remains to see how the the inexperienced Foakes will fare if given a chance.

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