England opener Rory Burns is likely to miss England’s upcoming tour to Sri Lanka with the ankle injury that ruled him out of the final three Tests of the ongoing series against South Africa.
Burns damaged ligaments in his left ankle ahead of the Cape Town Test playing football in a training session and is set to see a specialist in the coming days who will determine whether or not he will require surgery. Even though there is a chance that he will not need surgery, the England management are not optimistic of his chances of touring the country he made his Test debut in 14 months ago.
The injury to Burns came just as he was becoming the first English opener to cement their spot at the top of the order since Alastair Cook did so in the late-2000s. Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley – a pair with a combined total of four Tests’ experience between them – opened the batting for England in Cape Town, while Joe Denly has done the job on three occasions to date in his Test career.
England are yet to name a replacement for Burns for the South Africa series and with Crawley and Sibley the two specialist openers named in the England Lions squad for their upcoming tour to Australia, there are no obvious candidates.
Keaton Jennings, who last played for England in early 2019 in the Caribbean, might be seen as a pragmatic short-term selection for the Sri Lanka series given his excellent record in Asia – he has two hundreds from five Tests in the subcontinent and was on a recent specialist spin training camp in India with a host of young English batsmen and spin bowlers.