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Robotic Keaton Jennings out cheaply again but will still go to Sri Lanka | Barney Ronay


England opener is certain to tour this autumn, thanks to selector Ed Smith’s belief that there are better days ahead

At lunchtime of the third day of this Test Ed Smith appeared on BBC Test Match Special and suggested Keaton Jennings would be going with England to Sri Lanka to play in the autumn Test series. England would not want to go with two new openers, Smith said, bearing in mind Alastair Cook’s imminent retirement. To which the most reasonable answer might have been: of course not, you’ll want three of them at the very least.

In the process England’s chief selector confirmed two things. First, Jennings is clearly one of the luckiest cricketers ever to spend the large part of two years playing poorly for England. This is a batsman who averages 22 in 12 Tests. More to the point he has looked horrible on occasions, a batsman made out of pipe cleaners and old broom handles, prodding forward to repel the new ball with a bamboo garden cane in his hands, but who is nevertheless being offered the chance to fill the post-Cook void, mainly because he just happened to be standing nearest.

Related: Alastair Cook in control for England after fresh Keaton Jennings flop

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