James Anderson rested for third Test with Sri Lanka

James Anderson going through his paces in practice
James Anderson going through his paces in practice

James Anderson will be rested for England's third Test against Sri Lanka, with Stuart Broad taking his place.

Anderson is the country's record wicket taker but played a relatively minor role in England's victories in Galle and Kandy, taking just one scalp across the two games.

The 36-year-old was last rested for a Test in 2012 but will step aside for his long-term new ball partner, who has yet to feature.

"I'm not playing this game, Broady is going to play instead of me," he said.

"The thinking is with the series sewn up it's an opportunity to rotate."

England could be forced into a second chance if Sam Curran fails to shake off a side strain.

The left-armer, who edged Broad for the first two Tests, suffered the injury midway through the Kandy Test and did not bowl in the second innings.

He did fitness work away from the main group of players on Wednesday but did not join his team-mates in the nets.

If England replace Curran with another seam bowler, it will be a straight battle between Chris Woakes and the uncapped Olly Stone, though there is a chance England could rebalance the side and restore Jonny Bairstow as a batsman.

Anderson admitted the spin-friendly surfaces in Sri Lanka have not allowed him to perform as big a role as he would like.

"It's been a frustrating trip for me really because you want to contribute to the wins," he said.

"I feel like I've tried my best, but it's not really been a series for the seamers.

"I feel like a bit of a spare part, but I think that's just the nature of playing cricket here."

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