MX23RW : Tuesday, January 22 11:02:04

5 players England could bring in as they chase series whitewash in Sri Lanka

5 players England could bring in as they chase series whitewash in Sri Lanka
© Reuters
Joe Root's side have won the opening two Tests in Galle and Kandy with an unchanged XI.

England are chasing a clean sweep in Sri Lanka after winning the Tests in Galle and Kandy with an unchanged XI.

Here, Press Association looks at the five squad members who have yet to see action and assesses their chances of making the team sheet on Friday.

Stuart Broad (Age 32, 123 Tests)

Dropped from the side for just the second time in a decade, England's decision to leave 433 Test wickets on the sidelines was a bold one. So far it has paid off, but if the pitch at SSC looks to have any pace and carry in it, he would immediately come back into contention for new ball duties at the expense of a spinner. Broad could also replace his long-term partner James Anderson should the latter be rested, but at 36 the veteran is unlikely to skip a Test lightly.

Jonny Bairstow (29, 59)

Jonny Bairstow (Mike Egerton/PA).
Jonny Bairstow injured his ankle while playing football (Mike Egerton/PA).

A nailed on starter before injuring his ankle while playing football, he now finds himself behind Ben Foakes in the wicketkeeping stakes and Jos Buttler in the batting ranks. Bairstow would probably come back into a rebalanced side in home conditions, so there will be a temptation to draft him back in this week. He can be sensitive about his role in the pecking order and a show of support, possibly lengthening the batting order, could do wonders.

Chris Woakes (29, 26)

Chris Woakes (Tim Goode/PA).
Chris Woakes has played just four Tests this year (Tim Goode/PA).

Injury problems have kept the Warwickshire man to just four Test appearances in 2018 and England might view this as a good chance to ease him back into action. If Sam Curran's side strain rules him out Woakes would easily slot into his place as a seam bowling all-rounder. The 29-year-old is currently one of the leading candidates to carry the attack when Anderson and Broad eventually exit the scene and experience in these conditions would serve him well.

Olly Stone (24, 0)

Olly Stone (Tim Goode/PA).
A dead rubber could be the ideal time to give Olly Stone a chance (Tim Goode/PA).

If the series were still alive the chances of Stone getting a look in would be slim indeed. As it is, England could decide to nudge him to the front of the queue to see what impact his pace can have at this level. He started the one-day series well before tailing off and will have been picking the brains of his more experienced team-mates over the past few weeks. If he is one day going to be the battering ram of the attack in places like Australia and South Africa, he will need to get his feet under the table – what better time than a dead rubber?

Joe Denly (32,0)

Joe Denly is unlikely to be handed his Test debut (Gareth Fuller/PA).
Joe Denly is unlikely to be handed his Test debut (Gareth Fuller/PA).

The Kent man is a rank outsider to make his Test debut here, and may never get the chance. He had the opportunity to lock down a gig at number three, but neither his batting nor his leg-spin passed muster in the warm-up matches.

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Joe Root celebrates reaching a century for England on November 16, 2018
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