England opener set to miss Sri Lanka tour

England opener Rory Burns is likely to miss the Sri Lanka series in March with the ankle injury which ended his tour of South Africa.

The 29-year-old suffered ligament damage to his left ankle while playing football during practice before the ongoing second Test in Cape Town.

He will see a specialist next week to determine if he needs surgery.

Keaton Jennings is the leading contender to replace Burns for the two-Test series starting on 19 March.

England have yet to decide whether to call up a replacement for Burns for the final two Tests of the current series, which South Africa lead 1-0.

National selector Ed Smith has arrived in Cape Town and will discuss the options with head coach Chris Silverwood.

Burns, who top-scored for England with 84 in the first-Test defeat in Centurion, averages 33.75 in 15 Tests.

England have since banned playing football during practice.

Jennings averages 25.19 from 17 Tests since making a century on debut in India in 2016.

Opening with Burns, he scored 233 runs at 46.60 in England’s 3-0 series win in Sri Lanka in 2018, including an unbeaten 146 in the first Test in Galle. (Courtesy BBC Sports)

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