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England name 16-strong squad for first two Tests against India

England have named the 16-man squad for their first two Tests of their upcoming four-match series against India, with Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, and Rory Burns included after missing the Sri Lanka series.

Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood will be rested for Tests one and two, while Ollie Pope will travel and be added to the squad when passed fit.

National selector Ed Smith has also told ESPNcricinfo that Jos Buttler will return home to rest after the first Test of the India series, meaning Ben Foakes and James Bracey will be the tourists’ wicket-keeping options at that point.

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The decisions concerning resting players is consistent with England’s current policy to manage all multi-format players appropriately by ensuring they’re rested at some point during the winter schedule.

Joe Root’s side will fly directly from Sri Lanka to India, with the first Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai scheduled to get underway on Friday the 5th of February.

The second Test, also hosted in Chennai, will start the following Saturday (13th of February). The final two Tests (24/02 – 28/02 & 04/03 – 08/03) will be played at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad and any adjustments to the squad for those fixtures are expected in due course.

The full England squad for the first two Tests is as follows:

Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), and Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

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The six reserve players that will also travel with the squad are as follows:

James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), and Amar Virdi (Surrey).

The return of Archer and Stokes means that Craig Overton will return home after the Sri Lanka series, though that may change depending on the fitness of the squad.

India, fresh off their series win in Australia, named their squad earlier in the week with the return of captain Virat Kohli the headline change.