Strauss was missing from the 15-man England squad named on Friday after a disappointing run of form, which saw him average just 27 over the last year.
The Middlesex batsman had been awarded a central contract recently but that was not enough to save his place in Michael Vaughan's side for the three-Test series in December.
There was no place for Mark Ramprakash even though the Surrey batsman has averaged over 100 in county cricket for the last two seasons.
Four uncapped players, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Phil Mustard and Graeme Swann, are included, while Steve Harmison, who has not played since a hernia operation, will feature if he proves his fitness in a short stint in South African domestic cricket in November.
Chairman of selectors David Graveney insisted the door was not totally closed for Strauss. He said: "Andrew Strauss needs to recover his best form and he has not been included in the squad on this occasion.
"We fully anticipate that he will have a major role to play with England in the next 12 months and he will be considered for the tour of New Zealand in the new year."
Graveney is confident Owais Shah will be able to recapture his recent impressive one-day form, while Bopara deputises for Andrew Flintoff as the the all-rounder recovers from ankle surgery.
"Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara are both fine players of spin-bowling, and their performances for the one-day side recently have demonstrated that they have the temperament required to succeed at the highest level," Graveney said.
"We have chosen Phil Mustard as our number two wicketkeeper for the tour. Having recently toured Sri Lanka with the one-day squad, Phil is familiar with the conditions and will be ideally placed to deputise for Matt Prior should the situation arise.
"Graeme Swann made an excellent all-round contribution to the one-day squad's series win in Sri Lanka - and he will come into consideration for a place in our starting line-up at those venues where we require two spinners.
"Stephen Harmison is scheduled to play two four-day matches for Highveld Lions in mid-November and he will join the tour party in Sri Lanka subject to him proving he has regained form and fitness following his back injury in the summer."
England squad for Test series in Sri Lanka: Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Philip Mustard (Durham), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matthew Prior (Sussex), Owais Shah (Middlesex), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)