A revamped Australia will look to clinch the series when they meet Sri Lanka for the second and final test of the tour starting Friday at Canberra. Sri Lanka are on the back foot and it won’t be wrong to say they’ve brought it upon themselves. In the practice match before the test series started, they cumulatively batted for just 126 overs in two innings and prematurely opted to declare. That came back to haunt them as they collapsed to fold under 150 in both the innings of the first test. Though weak and vulnerable, writing off Sri Lanka is next to impossible. They can turn it around and they have proven it too in recent times. Although their victories look surprising on every occasion, but Sri Lanka have ensured they come out of nowhere to keep winning frequently. Australia have a lot of positives to take from the first test after they ended up losing a test series to India for the first time. Be it Jhye Richardson’s impressive debut or Pat Cummins’ return to form, Australia had all the reasons to walk home smiling. Come Friday and Australia will be more than ready to take the series 2-0 and it will be a daunting task for the Lankans to stop them from doing so.
Injuries: Mitchell Starc returned to the squad after a long absence and will continue to feature in the Playing11.
Doubt: Australia have already named their Playing11 which leaves no doubts to talk about.
Questionable: Matt Renshaw and Peter Siddle are the last minute backups in case any last minute injury rules out any player.
Expected Changes: Australia are not making any changes to their winning combination that left Sri Lanka reeling in the first test.
Injuries: Lahiru Kumara has been ruled out due to injury.
Doubt: Dushmantha Chameera is also a doubtful starter as he is not reported to be 100% fit.
Questionable: Vishwa Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne have been roped in as replacements for Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara, but only one of them is expected to feature in the Playing11.
Expected Changes: Kasun Rajitha is expected to start while the other vacant spot is expected to be taken up by either of Vishwa Fernando or Chamika Karunaratne.
Joe Burns, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (C&WK), Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon
Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Roshen Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal (C), Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando/Chamika Karunaratne
Expecting Nathan Lyon to remain absent from the wickets column is suicidal. As long as Australia do not find another Nathan Lyon, he is bound to be their prime wicket-taker. Sri Lanka are in all sorts of trouble. No batsman capable of resisting the Australian bowling attack and neither any bowler showing signs of troubling the Aussies with the red cherry. Kusal Mendis is the only reliable name in Sri Lanka’s lineup, who, despite being out of form, can be expected to take on the Australian bowling attack. As for Pat Cummins is concerned, he was bound to be picked over Labuschagne owing to his superior form with the ball.