After a poor performance in New Zealand both in Tests and ODIs, the Sri Lankan side heads to Australia for a two-match Test series.
Total matches – 29
Australia won – 17
Sri Lanka won – 4
Drawn – 8
08.30am 1st Test – January 24th, Thursday – January 28th, Monday @ The Gabba, Brisbane
05.00am 2nd Test – February 01st, Friday – February 05th, Tuesday @ Manuka Oval, Canberra
After facing a mortifying historical 2-1 loss against India in their own backyard, the kangaroos will be hoping to bounce back. Losing again to another Asian team in Tests consecutively will not be less than a nightmare for them and will put all their efforts to win the series.
Australia announced a 13-member squad with a few changes prior to the last series against India. Peter Handscomb, Shaun and Mitchell Marsh and Aaron Finch have been dropped from the side and named Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Will Pucovski as their replacements.
Burns and Renshaw will be making a comeback in the Test team while 20-year-old Pucovski the Victorian batsman earns his maiden call-up for the Australian national team.
Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand in a two-match Test series 1-0 which was held in December 2018 in New Zealand.
After what India did to Australia, Sri Lanka will be looking to learn from India and break their streak of not winning a Test match in Australia. This won’t be easy but with the likes of in-form Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dilruwan Perera etc. they will look to give some tough competition.
Angelo Mathews has been left out due to his hamstring injury. Danushka Gunathilaka, who was their opener in the New Zealand tour, has been dropped from the side for he just had 16 runs in that series. Kusal Perera, the hard-hitting batsman, has been included in the Lankan squad. The main reason behind his inclusion is his performance in ODIs against the Kiwis where he scored a century. Perea last played a Test match back in June 2018 against Windies in an away series.
Australia: Tim Paine (C & WK), Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Marcus Harris Travis Head, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Joe Burns, Peter Siddle, Will Pucovski
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Kasun Rajitha, Dusmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Roshen Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Thirimane
Perth might have the reputation of being the most fearsome pitch in the country, but it’s at the Gabba that visiting teams were generally given the rude welcome, a baptism of fire. It’s called the Gabbatoir with good reason. Even while Australian cricket has gone through a lull of late, Brisbane’s the only place where they haven’t quite lost the citadel completely. Their last loss came here way back in 1988 to the mighty West Indies. They have won 22 out of the 27 Tests since, with only five draws – most of them impacted by inclement weather.
They might not quite be commencing their season for a change at the Gabba. But Tim Paine & Co are trying to turn over a new leaf for their team, yet again, following the series loss to the Indians. They couldn’t have asked for a better place to do so.
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Leagues up in the Lobby, Go get ’em champs!