England ponder resting Anderson and Broad from Sri Lanka tour

James Anderson raises the ball after his five-wicket haul Getty Images

England are considering leaving James Anderson and Stuart Broad out of the squad that will tour Sri Lanka later in the year.

Although there is little doubt that Anderson, in particular, remains England's best bowler, it is understood the England management are aware of the need for succession planning and may use the three-Test series in Sri Lanka to explore their options. Anderson and Broad have taken the new ball together for more than a decade and are the two highest wicket-takers in England's Test history.

While nothing is confirmed - ESPNcricinfo understands the idea is just being discussed at this stage and it could be that the pair are rotated at different times - it would seem the likes of Jamie Porter, Sam Curran and, if fit, Jamie Overton may have an opportunity to stake a claim in Sri Lanka alongside the more experienced Chris Woakes.

The first Test begins in Galle on November 6 followed by matches in Pallekele and Colombo.

England's record away from home may also be a factor. They have won only one overseas series since they defeated India in 2012-13 (beating South Africa in 2015-16) and, in losing their last three, have been punished for a lack of potency when not in home conditions and armed with a Duke's ball.

Since the start of the India tour in November 2016, they have spent an average of 150 overs in the field in their opponents' first innings. They have won none of those 12 Tests and lost nine. While Anderson bowled admirably in Australia - he claimed 17 wickets at an average of 27.82 - the disparity in pace between the attacks was a clear point of difference between the sides.

The pair are no longer part of England's one-day team, but the management might also be mindful of managing the workload of their older seamers. Anderson has been nursing a shoulder problem for a couple of years now and Broad has a long-standing issue with one of his feet, although on the eve of the third Test against India Broad spoke to ESPNcricinfo about how fresh he was feeling.

With an Ashes series coming up in 2019, there may be a thought of saving them for that rather than asking them to bowl on pitches offering them little in Sri Lanka. England also have a three-Test tour of the Caribbean at the start of 2019.