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Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview

Day-Night Test Cricket returns to Australia as Sri Lanka is the latest side to try add further misery to Australia.

It has indeed been a miserable 10 months for Australia. With no series wins since the Cape Town incident, the situation is getting pretty desperate, which has been the catalyst for changes in the Test side. Two debutants will take the field in Brisbane, with arguably Australia’s best chance of winning a series, hosting a side that had never won a Test down under.

However, Sri Lanka won’t have many better chances to do so. They have expressed their belief at achieving what India did, but whether they can play the moving ball effectively, as well as move the ball for prolonged periods themselves, will be key things to watch out for. They had their moments in the recent Test series against New Zealand, but not for long enough, which is something to address in Australia. Will they cause !an upset?




Key to an Australia win

There is no doubt Australia are favourites, but there is also no doubt that there are a number of things the Australians must improve on from their series against India. For starters, no player scored a century, despite 29 scores of 20 or more from the top seven, which puts the onus on the batting line up to show appetite for the long innings. Joe Burns returns after a fine run in First Class cricket, scoring 1,073 runs in his last 10 matches. Kurtis Patterson is coming off a superb tour game. Usman Khawaja needs to deliver, and Marcus Harris and Travis Head had their moments against India. Will there be centuries, and will it be a collective batting display that keeps the Sri Lankans at bay?

Also, what damage can Australia do with the pink ball? The night sessions in humid Brisbane promises to be very challenging for batting, so strong technique and patience is important not only for the batsmen, but the bowlers, too. Mitchell Starc struggled against India, with his wrist position all over the place, the catalyst for his lack of swing. He will be crucial against Sri Lanka, along with new co-Vice Captain Pat Cummins and debutant Jhye Richardson in hurting Sri Lanka’s quest for a strong total. The likes of Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal have played well of late, and Australia’s seamers, along with Nathan Lyon, need to get the better of them.

ALSO READ: Australia need to do more than ask Niroshan Dickwella if he babysits. Three things they must do.

Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview - Kurtis Patterson was excellent in the tour game
Image Credit: Getty Images. Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview – Kurtis Patterson was superb in the tour match.

Key to a Sri Lanka win

Sri Lanka struggled badly when the ball moved around in New Zealand, bundled out for 282 and 104 respectively in the first innings of the two Tests. They were three down for not many twice in the first Test of that series, and must avoid that here to ensure the middle order, without Angelo Mathews, is not exposed too much. With batting under lights to be a challenge, it is crucial Sri Lanka have at least one set player, if possible, heading into that period. If they are to bat straight away under lights, solid technique and fight is crucial. If the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal can have strong outings, Sri Lanka will be competitive.

Also, will Suranga Lakmal lead from the front? Can Sri Lanka keep their lines and lengths in order against a side that has shown to struggle in converting starts? If the Sri Lankans indeed wish to follow what India did, they will have to be as disciplined with the ball as the Indians were. Discipline, consistency and movement will be crucial for Sri Lanka, who fell off the rails against New Zealand at most times, highlighting they can bowl well for periods, but not sustained long enough. At the Gabba, bowling in partnerships will be crucial to their success.

Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview
Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview – Can Kusal Mendis continue on from his fine 2018?

Possible Playing 11

Australia have named their XI. Joe Burns returns. Kurtis Patterson and Jhye Richardson will make their debuts. Travis Head and Pat Cummins are the co-Vice Captains.

Australia team: 1. Joe Burns, 2. Marcus Harris, 3. Usman Khawaja, 4. Marnus Labuschagne, 5. Travis Head, 6. Kurtis Patterson, 7. Tim Paine (c & wk), 8. Pat Cummins, 9. Mitchell Starc, 10. Jhye Richardson, 11. Nathan Lyon

For Sri Lanka, Lahiru Thirimanne is likely to open with Dimuth Karunaratne. Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kamara are expected to partner Suranga Lakmal in the pace attack.

Sri Lanka possible playing 11: 1. Dimuth Karunaratne, 2. Lahiru Thirimanne, 3. Dinesh Chandimal (c), 4. Kusal Mendis, 5. Roshen Silva, 6. Dhananjaya de Silva, 7. Niroshan Dickwella, 8. Dilruwan Perera, 9. Suranga Lakmal, 10. Dushmantha Chameera, 11. Lahiru Kamara

Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview
Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview – Can Mitch Starc have a better series?

Stats and Facts

  • Australia have never lost a Test at home vs Sri Lanka.
  • Sri Lanka lost by an innings and 201 runs the last time they played a Test at the Gabba.
  • Kurtis Patterson averages 65 in 14 innings in D/N First Class Cricket.

Match Prediction

Australia have had a tough run of late but I expect them to win this game, with Sri Lanka to be hurting from the loss of Angelo Mathews.

Australia to win and take a 1-0 series lead.

Thanks for reading!

ALSO READ: Australia need to do more than ask Niroshan Dickwella if he babysits. Three things they must do.




Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Preview

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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