England have recalled Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow but rested Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer for the two Tests in Sri Lanka next month.
All-rounder Moeen has not played since taking a break from cricket in 2019, and Bairstow was dropped a year ago.
Uncapped Essex batsman Dan Lawrence is included, with opener Rory Burns absent as his wife is expecting their first child.
England play two Tests in Galle starting on 14 and 22 January.
The tour was due to take place in March this year but was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who has not played a Test for almost two years, also features in a 16-man squad that includes three spinners.
All-rounder Stokes and pace bowler Archer will return for the four-Test series in India starting in February.
England squad: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Reserves: James Bracey (wk), Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.