Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Melbourne, 1st day December 26, 2012

Johnson and friends make it Australia's day

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Australia 3 for 150 (Warner 62) trail Sri Lanka 156 (Sangakkara 58, Johnson 4-63) by 6 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kumar Sangakkara became the second Sri Lankan to reach the 10,000-run milestone in Tests but there was little else for Sri Lanka to celebrate on their first Boxing Day at the MCG since 1995. A day that began with Mahela Jayawardene winning the toss and choosing to bat ended with Australia at the crease and having already nearly passed Sri Lanka's 156, an awfully disappointing total brought about by some disappointingly awful shot selections from the Sri Lankan batsmen.

Mitchell Johnson was awkward to face, collecting three wickets and breaking the thumb of Prasanna Jayawardene; Jackson Bird was impressively consistent in his first day of Test cricket and picked up two wickets; and Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon also collected two each. Australia's selectors must have breathed a sigh of relief at the effectiveness of the attack, after their decision to rest the Hobart match-winner Mitchell Starc due to concerns over his workload.

Not that Australia did everything right. After a strong opening partnership of 95 between David Warner and Ed Cowan, both openers and Phillip Hughes fell within the space of seven overs late in the day, leaving Sri Lanka a sliver of hope if their bowlers can do some damage on the second morning. At stumps, Australia were 3 for 150, trailing by six runs, and they had their in-form captain Michael Clarke at the crease on 20, alongside the vice-captain Shane Watson on 13.

Clarke had been passed fit in the morning, ending speculation that the hamstring injury he picked up in Hobart would allow Watson to become Australia's 44th Test captain, and he showed no real signs of discomfort while batting late in the day. Both men had been given lives though: Clarke put down by Tillakaratne Dilshan at silly mid-on when he chipped Rangana Herath to the leg side and Watson by the acting wicketkeeper Kumara Sangakkara, who dived to his right and grassed an edge off Chanaka Welegedara.

Sangakkara was wearing the gloves due to a hairline fracture Prasanna Jayawardene suffered while batting, and although he dropped that chance he was part of one dismissal, whipping the bails off at the striker's end to run Phillip Hughes out for 10. Ed Cowan had worked the ball to the leg side and called Hughes through for a single, but the non-striker's hesitation led to his demise; Dilshan misfielded and Hughes could comfortably have made the run had he set off immediately.

In the next over, Cowan departed with no further addition to the score, caught at second slip for 36 when he slashed at Dhammika Prasad, who had been brought in to replace Nuwan Kulasekara. Cowan and Warner had given Australia a strong start until Warner was caught at deep midwicket for 62 off the bowling of Angelo Mathews. Warner was trying to maintain the brisk pace he had set early, having raced to his half-century from 34 balls.

Warner had shown the Sri Lankans that the MCG pitch was good for batting with some crisp strokeplay, finding boundaries all around the wicket. Especially disdainful was his slap for six over long-on off the bowling of Welegedara, a shot more out of Twenty20 than Test cricket. It was appreciated by the 67,138 spectators in the crowd, an impressive attendance that outstripped the Boxing Day numbers for the 2008 and 2009 Tests against South Africa and Pakistan.

There was a healthy sprinkling of Sri Lankan fans among the crowd and they were disappointed with the way their side batted, apart from the half-century scored by Sangakkara. His 58 was the only innings of note and while several of his team-mates made starts none showed the patience required against good bowling, many throwing their wickets away with loose shots.

Sri Lanka went to lunch at 3 for 79 and lost their final seven wickets in the second session for the addition of only 77 runs as Johnson rattled several players with his short deliveries and Siddle and Bird were rewarded for their accuracy. The final two wickets went to the offspinner Nathan Lyon, who had Herath caught off a top-edged sweep at fine leg for 14 and two balls later had Welegedara taken at long-on.

It was a rapid end for the Sri Lankans, who were relying heavily on Sangakkara to steer them to a competitive score. However, when he top-edged a hook off Johnson and was brilliantly taken by Matthew Wade, who sprinted two-thirds of the way to the boundary and dived to reach the dropping ball, Sri Lanka were in serious bother at 8 for 147.

That was Johnson's 200th Test wicket and he joined elite company as the seventh Australian to the milestone of 200 Test wickets and 1000 runs. He had provided some awkward moments for the Sri Lankans during a spell full of quick bouncers and at one stage was on a hat-trick after he had Prasanna Jayawardene (24) caught at third slip fending a snorter of a short ball and Prasad caught behind off another bouncer next ball.

The hat-trick delivery was set up to be a bouncer, with a leg gully, short leg, four slips and a gully, but Johnson instead went for a good-length ball on off, which Herath defended. In any case, the bowler overstepped and it was called a no-ball. But Johnson had certainly provided some spark for Australia after a brief rally from Sangakkara and Prasanna Jayawardene following the dismissal of Mathews.

Mathews flashed wildly at a Siddle ball outside off and his edge was snapped up by Hussey at second slip. It was a catch that required outstanding reflexes, but it was also one that arrived only because of an atrocious shot from Mathews. Thilan Samaraweera was equally guilty when he went for a hook off Bird straight after lunch and lobbed a top-edged catch to midwicket for 10. It was uncharacteristic of Samaraweera but characteristic of Sri Lanka's day.

Before lunch, Bird struck in his second over with the new ball when he angled a ball across the left-hander Dimuth Karunaratne (5) and nipped it away off the seam, and the thick edge was snapped up by the wicketkeeper Wade. Bird was very impressive in his initial Test spells, hitting a nagging line and length and offering few scoring opportunities for the batsmen.

More runs came off Johnson, but he also picked up an important wicket when Dilshan stood flat-footed and tried to heave a delivery from just outside off stump through the leg side. Dilshan, on 11 at the time, succeeded only in inside-edging the ball back onto his stumps and it was a particularly ugly dismissal for a man who was fresh from a century in the first Test in Hobart.

Siddle also broke through when Mahela Jayawardene, who had been tied down, drove at a ball that moved away slightly and edged behind for 3 from 26 balls. The only highlight for Sri Lanka was when Sangakkara brought up his 10,000th run in the final over before lunch with a square drive for four off Johnson and received a hug from Samaraweera and a round of applause from the Australian players.

But Sangakkara couldn't last in this innings, and neither could Sri Lanka, and by stumps they faced an enormous task to keep themselves in the Test.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | December 26, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    I cant believe Johnson takes 4/63 and people want to still have a go. He was a class bowler three to four years ago winning us tests. It looks like he has rediscovered that form and I would have him in our best 3 bowlers at the moment. He is swinging the new ball and when the ball gets older can really hurry batsman and not a lot of bowlers in the world can do that. I've now seen two tests since he has returned and been very impressive in both. Johnson has the ability to take us to many more victories, those having a go at the 4.5 an over really no jack about cricket, we had 3 early wickets Johnson courageously pitched up to get Sangakkara wicket and break through the Sri Lanka bowling line up yes he went for several boundaries but also beat the bat regularly. It was an outstanding display from Mitch.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 26, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Perth when India visited Australia revisited. What a game for Aussies. Warner can just break it down when the opponents are on defensive and he gets his offense going right!! Demoralising for the SL players and fans as i felt the same when he took away the game in a session and half that time. Good for Australia though. What a set of bowlers they got.. To win in Australia, go with tall and fast bowlers who can extract bounce off the track. Like England and SA did. I think other teams will struggle unless they get the pitch and conditions that will suit them.

  • POSTED BY tappee74 on | December 26, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    A magnificent stroke to the boundary saw his name permanently illuminating on the scroll of the elites . Except one player who is a shade under 50,every batsman on this roll averages 50 or more runs per innings in test cricket.Kumar Sangakara has become the most recent candidate of a rare group I call "the greats".Like most of the greats,I have admired his gallantry on the green fields.His off shots and the straight drives back past the bowler are just some of his finesse.Surely with an avg:of around 56 and 30 test hundreds, he is one of the greatest cricketer of all time. Congratulation to a remarkable young man.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    I must agree with Tappee74, two of the best bats in world cricket are Jayawardene and Sangakara. Many Congratulations for Kumar S. who seems a really nice bloke as well as a "cricket GREAT".

    I just love all the mugs here, who at best last played competitive cricket at junior school XI, telling the world that Mitch Johnson can't bowl. Not bad for a bloke who has 200 test wickets. Personally I thought Johnson was the best Aussie bowler in Perth. G. Smith was so unnerved by Johnson that he promptly lost his wicket to Old Lumbering Watson. Staying in Perth, who the hell picked Hastings ahead of B. Cutting or J. Bird? His FC record is one wicket per match, so how could they pick him as a front-line bowler? I still consider M. Starc as more a one day or T20/20 bowler. He bowled poorly in the early parts of both innings at Perth, but got a heap of lower order bats when they were past 500 runs. At Hobart he didn't look too effective until the last session when lower order collapsed.

  • POSTED BY Gangnam_Gangsta on | December 27, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    It is not looking good for SL. This partnership is choking the life out of them. With all the preceding hype I would have not imagined even Ireland and certainly not Bangladesh to fold for 150 odds on boxing day. I remember few years back Sehwag lit up the boxing day by scoring 195 by tea time at the MCG. So it is not that subcontinent bastman can't do this, it is just that SriLankan batsman play on very docile pitches and get very used to it. A case in point is Samarveera who was averaging in 60s with very poor overseas record. These anomalies can be corrected by producing sporting pitches in srilanka especially in and around Colombo area.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 26, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    Is there anything more nauseous than the comments of Australians who actually believe their own sad propaganda? Straight out of the Goebbels handbook...

  • POSTED BY 158notout on | December 26, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    @Marcio - I agree with everything you have said. Australia are obviously on the way up. All I have said is that this Ashes tour is too sooon for them and that their bowling still has a lot of promising bowlers but not enough that are really putting their hand up. Perhaps it would be more helpful if you could reply with a little more intelligence than to simply dismiss my comment because I am English. I know that might be a Australian tactic but it doesn't really work.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | December 26, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    The bowling was so good we almost forgot that Australia's best non-injured bowler, Mitchell Starc, was absent. It just shows what I have been saying for the past 5+ years straight - Australia's fast bowling stocks are the best in the world. And we were still missing Alistair McDermott - check out his record guys!

  • POSTED BY postandrail on | December 26, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    hhillbumper on (December 26 2012, 17:01 PM GMT) Perhaps but do you realize he has reached 200 Test wickets 3 Tests quicker than Jeff Thomson did and at near the same average?

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Mitchel Johnson is back, very good news for Australia. Aussies have a good pace attack. But MJs batting ability will add some strength in the lower order.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | December 26, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    I cant believe Johnson takes 4/63 and people want to still have a go. He was a class bowler three to four years ago winning us tests. It looks like he has rediscovered that form and I would have him in our best 3 bowlers at the moment. He is swinging the new ball and when the ball gets older can really hurry batsman and not a lot of bowlers in the world can do that. I've now seen two tests since he has returned and been very impressive in both. Johnson has the ability to take us to many more victories, those having a go at the 4.5 an over really no jack about cricket, we had 3 early wickets Johnson courageously pitched up to get Sangakkara wicket and break through the Sri Lanka bowling line up yes he went for several boundaries but also beat the bat regularly. It was an outstanding display from Mitch.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 26, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Perth when India visited Australia revisited. What a game for Aussies. Warner can just break it down when the opponents are on defensive and he gets his offense going right!! Demoralising for the SL players and fans as i felt the same when he took away the game in a session and half that time. Good for Australia though. What a set of bowlers they got.. To win in Australia, go with tall and fast bowlers who can extract bounce off the track. Like England and SA did. I think other teams will struggle unless they get the pitch and conditions that will suit them.

  • POSTED BY tappee74 on | December 26, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    A magnificent stroke to the boundary saw his name permanently illuminating on the scroll of the elites . Except one player who is a shade under 50,every batsman on this roll averages 50 or more runs per innings in test cricket.Kumar Sangakara has become the most recent candidate of a rare group I call "the greats".Like most of the greats,I have admired his gallantry on the green fields.His off shots and the straight drives back past the bowler are just some of his finesse.Surely with an avg:of around 56 and 30 test hundreds, he is one of the greatest cricketer of all time. Congratulation to a remarkable young man.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    I must agree with Tappee74, two of the best bats in world cricket are Jayawardene and Sangakara. Many Congratulations for Kumar S. who seems a really nice bloke as well as a "cricket GREAT".

    I just love all the mugs here, who at best last played competitive cricket at junior school XI, telling the world that Mitch Johnson can't bowl. Not bad for a bloke who has 200 test wickets. Personally I thought Johnson was the best Aussie bowler in Perth. G. Smith was so unnerved by Johnson that he promptly lost his wicket to Old Lumbering Watson. Staying in Perth, who the hell picked Hastings ahead of B. Cutting or J. Bird? His FC record is one wicket per match, so how could they pick him as a front-line bowler? I still consider M. Starc as more a one day or T20/20 bowler. He bowled poorly in the early parts of both innings at Perth, but got a heap of lower order bats when they were past 500 runs. At Hobart he didn't look too effective until the last session when lower order collapsed.

  • POSTED BY Gangnam_Gangsta on | December 27, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    It is not looking good for SL. This partnership is choking the life out of them. With all the preceding hype I would have not imagined even Ireland and certainly not Bangladesh to fold for 150 odds on boxing day. I remember few years back Sehwag lit up the boxing day by scoring 195 by tea time at the MCG. So it is not that subcontinent bastman can't do this, it is just that SriLankan batsman play on very docile pitches and get very used to it. A case in point is Samarveera who was averaging in 60s with very poor overseas record. These anomalies can be corrected by producing sporting pitches in srilanka especially in and around Colombo area.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 26, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    Is there anything more nauseous than the comments of Australians who actually believe their own sad propaganda? Straight out of the Goebbels handbook...

  • POSTED BY 158notout on | December 26, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    @Marcio - I agree with everything you have said. Australia are obviously on the way up. All I have said is that this Ashes tour is too sooon for them and that their bowling still has a lot of promising bowlers but not enough that are really putting their hand up. Perhaps it would be more helpful if you could reply with a little more intelligence than to simply dismiss my comment because I am English. I know that might be a Australian tactic but it doesn't really work.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | December 26, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    The bowling was so good we almost forgot that Australia's best non-injured bowler, Mitchell Starc, was absent. It just shows what I have been saying for the past 5+ years straight - Australia's fast bowling stocks are the best in the world. And we were still missing Alistair McDermott - check out his record guys!

  • POSTED BY postandrail on | December 26, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    hhillbumper on (December 26 2012, 17:01 PM GMT) Perhaps but do you realize he has reached 200 Test wickets 3 Tests quicker than Jeff Thomson did and at near the same average?

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Mitchel Johnson is back, very good news for Australia. Aussies have a good pace attack. But MJs batting ability will add some strength in the lower order.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | December 26, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Congratulations Sangakkara, and well bowled Aus. today. Please ICC, more test matches please. Make 2013 more test-rich than 'short-form hit and giggle, little skill and mostly luck involved' rubbish...

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    someone stated last year that Jackson Bird would be a test bowler an keep an eye out for them.I just want to say they are right an this guy does look like he will succeed in test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    @kc69 , Yes I agree with you in every forum if India loose badly they start saying flat track bullies. Its the same story with all the sub-continent teams. We cant judge the bounce.

  • POSTED BY ddlj26 on | December 26, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Looking at some of the Indian fans comments in this section, firstly being an Indian fan all i have to say is this, you guys should not be talking ill about the lankan team especially keeping in mind the manner in which we were whitewashed last summer in australia... atleast SL showed some fight in the 1st test, India hardly showed any fight throughout that series, until India wins some tests outside India especially keeping in my mind we lost 3 pillars of our best batsmen overseas we should not be foul mouthing other teams until we become a dominant test team again !!!

  • POSTED BY ashwa1992 on | December 26, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    Finally MJ is back to his thumb breaking business....... good to see him peppering around some short stuff to the lankans.. but 4.5 an over is a bit expensive though showing his inconsistency. ....

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | December 26, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    you know you must be batting badly when Johnson is made to look good

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    Mahela Jaywardene is a pretty poor player outside srilanka and so is kumar sangakkara. Only thing is sangakkara is slighty better than jaywardene when they play overseas. These players score most of the runs in sri lanka and india and yet some say they are world class players. This is the biggest joke ever :-) lolz...

  • POSTED BY oval77 on | December 26, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    @rickyvoncanterbury on (December 26 2012, 11:27 AM GMT) I agree with you this is a nice full cupboard (Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Cummins, Bird. Harris, Hilfi, and Halzewood, are all in front of Johnson) but the stock itself is a bit budget. At least one of these (preferably two in fact) urgently needs to fulfill their potential, and fast!

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | December 26, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    It very much looks like the same story of what happened to India and Lankan fans say they are the best subcontinental team in Aussie and English conditions

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    I think it's a blessing in disguise that Mahela is giving up captaincy. His form is not helping with his captaincy and the regularity with which he nicks balls behind to the keeper or slips is ridiculous. I also am not a fan of his captaincy, especially his inability to cut down the easy singles at the start of a batsman's innings. Mathews might have a positive influence on the team going forward, although the shot he played today was diabolical. I'm just sad that I was looking forward for more than a year for this tour, and the elusive test win in Aus. That dream will remain a dream. Just depressing stuff. The Australian must be wondering what the administrators were thinking giving the boxing day test to SL. Sad sad sad.....

  • POSTED BY VinodGupte on | December 26, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    MJ failed outside SL. yet again. he averages 28 in AUS. and 34 in ENG. and 27 in NZ. and 28 in SA.

  • POSTED BY tdslbuwa on | December 26, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    squad tor t20: Chandimal,Dilshan,,Mathiwes,Sanga,Thisara Perera,Anjalo Perera,Thirimanne,Nuwan,,A.Mendis,Malinga.... + A.Dananjaya,Maharoof,Kusal Janith,........ ODI squad:Mahela,Dilli,Chandi,Sanga,Mathewes,Anjalo Perera,Thrimanna,Thisara,Nuwan,A.Mendis,L.Malinga,A.Dananjaya........ +J.Mendis,Maharoof,Kusal Janith,S.Senanayaka

    Give chances to youngsters...Angalo Perera should be in t20 and ODIs...he is smashing 6s at number 5,6 in recent domestic tournament.....Kusal Janish also blasting the bowling.....No Mahela for T20s...Chandimal should open in T20s...Mathewes at 3 and Perera at 5.....

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 26, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @darren Taylor. Please do name these fast bowlers coming out of your ears. Bresnan? Onions? (I won't mention Broad, who seems to have totally lost it - is he sick?) Honest enough, but not too many fears there for decent batsmen. Let's hope Finn's fragile frame holds up for ENG's sake.

  • POSTED BY WilliamFranklin on | December 26, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    4 wickets for Johnson at only 4.5 runs an over? Just embarrassing SL.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 26, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    @158 not out, your view pretty much sums up the hopes of most poms, once you strip away the bluster of the posts: hoping that the AUS players. Ever improve or reach their potential. Unfortunately for you, things will only continue to improve over the next 5 years for AUS, and by a large degree. Simply assuming the worst possible scenario for every opposition quality/factor is a perspective doomed to massive error.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara must go down as the best left handed technician. befitting to the man of his caliber that he becomes the youngest player to achieve the feet.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    One of the all time greats..take a bow Sangakkara !! Fastest to 8000 runs, fastest to 9000 runs, and now jointly fastest to 10000 runs. Sharing the record with greats of the game Lara and Tendulkar. Unfortunately no one was able to bat with him when he looked good for a huge score.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Different sub continent team,similar expected result.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    @rickyvoncanterbury You being serious? We have fast bowlers coming out of our ears mate. Far more depth than Australia.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | December 26, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Excluding the odd individual the Sub Continental batsmen of the modern era are embarassingly poor in OZ/ENG/SA. As an English fan I have seen our batsmen hounded by IND/PAK fans for not being able to play spin but in the modern era ENG/AUS/SA can adapt more effectivley than IND/PAK/SL can on away tours. This pitch is an absolute road and to be bowled out for 150 is a disgrace. SL need to show some guts. You can't simply fold like a pack of cards and be happy with it. The technical flaws of the SC players have got to be addressed as the away tours are getting immensley boring. It is acceptable to lose but you must show some fight at least. Playing spin is not the be all an end all.

  • POSTED BY Balumekka on | December 26, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    To Mahela with love, We all know that you have reached to the latter part of your career and still you have something to prove that you are a great batsman. So please make at least a match saving century during this tour (most likely your last test tour to Australia) and show the world that you deserve some recognition as a decent test batsman on fast pitches. Upto now, unlike your friend Kumar, you have only been excelled on subcontinental pitches, apart from 2-3 isolated knocks.

  • POSTED BY Daanush on | December 26, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Remember Sangakkara is a only wicketkeeper battsman did that, who can break that record, He is a capm.....

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 26, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Good, professional display by Aus- sharp bowling, clever field placing and some outstanding catching. Bird was as advertised, accurate, moves the ball a little, not express but quick enough. Johnson was wild but dangerous, Siddle was all effort and Lyon nipped out a couple of tailenders. Good start by Warner and Cowan, but both gave it away with loose shots. With the scores nearly level and only 3 down Aus will fancy a big lead and a fairly easy win. Sri Lanka's big 4 didn't do anything apart from Sanga (congrats on 10,000 runs) and with all of them over 35 now SL's future doesn't look very bright. It's a shame because they're a fun side to watch. They just look outclassed in this game.

    @Shazli: the reason Sanga won't break records is that the SL Board are cancelling test matches. They've cancelled 5 in 2013 and after this series Sanga won't play another till December. You can't break test records if you don't play tests. Contact the SL Board and complain.

  • POSTED BY 158notout on | December 26, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    @rickyvoncanterbury - the other way of looking at it is that Australia have a lot of good, but by no means great pace bowlers. I am sure that Pattinson, Starc and Cummins will have long Test careers ahead of them but two of them don't seem to be able to last a series without getting injured and all are pretty raw. Siddle is an honest trier but he is never going to be a McGrath or a Lee or, to be honest, even an Anderson. Hilfenhaus, Hazelwood and Bird would struggle to get into the England Lions squad. Just because they are the best in Shield cricket, that is not an accurate reflection of their true ability. The one I am most disappointed with is Trent Copeland, I really thought he could stake a claim to a Test spot for a decade or so.

    I really do think the Ashes series down under will be hard fought and close but in the series in England the only way I can see the Aussies taking the Ashes is if England lose them, rather than Australia winning them.

  • POSTED BY VinodGupte on | December 26, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    MJ failed outside SL yet again. he averages 28 in AUS, 34 in ENG, 27 in NZ and 28 in SA.

  • POSTED BY OzWally on | December 26, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Love the Boxing Day test, the big crowd at the G; unfortunately, only 1 side showed up and proved themselves worthy of handling the big stage. As much as I hate to admit it, TommyTuckerSaffer is half right, 1 minnow out there flopping around helplessly. And worst of all for the SL fans, where do they go from here? 8 of the starting XI are over 30 and their best 4 batsmen over 35.

    And one more thing. Mathews is an allrounder - with best bowling figures of 1/13?! Me thinks Warner, Clarke, Hussey & Starc all need to update their CV's.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    :: One of the finest players of all time is Kumar Sangakkara. Congrtulations to the wonderful cricketer and human being Kumar on reaching his 10000 Test runs and many more to follow. ::

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | December 26, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    Mitch still went for 4.50 an over, against a better team, it would've been more costly

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | December 26, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    @Marcio, Sydney test of 2011 will show you what happens when Watson and Hughes run together.

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | December 26, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    what i said of sl chances is proved right, as sl is below india in rankings and india struggled there , so sl will struggle , i am waiting for whitewash, if it wud be 5 matches sl will lose 5 as sl batsmen cant play in bouncy conditions, 0 test win in aus and india show sl level in world cricket , hope that clarke score 300 tomorrow, come on australia

  • POSTED BY Taha_Farrukh on | December 26, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara became the 11th batsman to score 10,000 Test runs. He did so in his 195th innings, which makes him joint-fastest, along with Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar.SO if Sangakkara play more 5 years then he can break all records and make new as well....look Sachin playing from last 23 years and he did so....why not Sanagakkara....

  • POSTED BY HowdyRowdy on | December 26, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Well done Jackson Bird on a nervelessly successful debut, which could have a been a little overshadowed on an eventful day of Test cricket.

    I have scarely seen Bird before, but he bowled very consistent lines, seems to have natural movement away from the right handers and has a nice smooth action, which should reduce the dreaded injury risks. An encouraging first day of Test bowling for Bird.

    Bird's showing also reinforces that selecting players who have physical and mental maturity, and consistently good form over a significant period, is sound policy, instead of the Andrew Hilditch 'let's pick a bolter who has played a handful of games' approach.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 26, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    A very entertaining day of test cricket, I thought. Congratulations to Sangakkara, 10 000 runs puts him in the elite of test cricketers. Not a great batting display by SL, and they will need to keep AUS' lead to under 120 to have a decent chance. But they still do have a shot because they may get to bat on the pitch at its best. Thought Bird looked good. The kind of bowler who could do really well in England. Bowls similar pace and style to Anderson. Hope Hughesearns to run between the wickets. Imagine him and Watson running together!

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | December 26, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Incredible day's play. Will definitely remember it for a long time. Bird's debut spell, Sanga's batting, Wade's catch, Johnson's short balls and Warner's hitting the highlights but every player did well for the Aussies and they deserve all the credit. Looking forward to the rest of the test, hopefully we see some more memorable performances from both sides.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | December 26, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @ Darren Taylor on (December 26 2012, 10:43 AM GMT) the only problem England has with Australia's rotation policy is Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Cummins, Bird. Harris, Hilfi, and Halzewood, are all in front of Johnson, so we should be 3 or 4 tests up by the time he gets a run. but its like the lotto, you just never know what 3 you will be facing, so good luck with that. I hope Anderson stays fit, the cupboard is not so full.

  • POSTED BY Nightwing32 on | December 26, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    I wouldn't call it Australia straight away. One wicket in the morning can change things, they (Sri Lanka) just need to catch and bowl well. Dang Hughes, you are so damn good but running between the wickets....I think both Australia and England were flattered by India, I think they are pretty much even.

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | December 26, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Congratulations to Sangakkara on reaching 10,000 tests runs - a great milestone achieved by a very deserving batsman.

    It was a good performance by Australia today made to look very good by a lack of application by the SL batsmen. The dismissals of Mathews and Dilshan reminded me of Sehwag on last years summer tour. I think besides Herath and Sangakkara, SL are very outgunned in comparison to Australia and will most likely be whitewashed.

  • POSTED BY onebump on | December 26, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Sanga is a god example of where a sportsman has complemented limited talent with brains and a lot of hard work. I had the opportunity to know him during his school days and never thought he had the talent to go this far. Wish the more talented folks used their heads and worked harder. Well done Sanga. Thanks

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | December 26, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Sri Lanka surely need to change their batting strategy;Mahela should drop down and Mathew should come in when two wickets are down for a low score;he came in when two wickets were for twenty odd runs and just kept fending at balls.If two down for a big score it may not matter but when SL struggling, to see Mahela walks in,you can bet third wicket is in the offing.This should be the plan outside the subcontinent. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • POSTED BY 4test90 on | December 26, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    If you are going to attempt the Boxing Day quiz by Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan, I just want to point out an error regarding Matthew Hayden (question 6 or 7) - the answer is in fact New Zealand and not Pakistan - New Zealand have not played a Boxing Day Test (in fact any Test) in Melbourne since 1987.

  • POSTED BY Return-of-Sinhaya on | December 26, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    Three huge wickets have been picked, with this momentum we can get the remaining 7 easily tomorrow morning inside the first 15 overs, then we can bat 70 overs and with the help of our openers we can score 250 for one at the end of the day

  • POSTED BY naveed.attari on | December 26, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    sl will come back wait and watch they are tigers with sword come on sl do that in which you are best

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    Great to see Mitchell Johnson take four wickets. This will hopefully seal his Ashes spot, thus increasing England's chances of winning.

  • POSTED BY Test-is-the-best on | December 26, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    Poor batting display by the Sri Lankan top order let the team down once again. Australian middle order is in good form and they looks settled to pile up a challenging total by the end of day two.

  • POSTED BY RohanMarkJay on | December 26, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    With Sri Lanka's top five batsman averaging close to the 40 mark. It was disappointing to see Sri Lanka shot out like that. Sure Aussies got some decent bowlers and they lift a gear because the MCG is like spinach to the Aussies. But to get shot out like that with the quality Sri Lankan batsman had in the top 5 is very disappointing. One wonders the mentality going into this most prestigious as Test Matches of some Sri Lankan players. Did they really care? I doubt they would have batted like that if they were playing at Lord's in London. Where Dilshan was absolutely determined to make a big score. That attitude was completely missing from Sri Lanka at the MCG Boxing day test match which surely is just as prestigious as the Lord's test as far as overseas contests are concerned. As a who wanted to see Sri Lanka put up at least 300, there was no excuses for a performance like that and now Sri Lanka will surely lose the margin of victory is now the only question in doubt. Good luck SL.

  • POSTED BY trumpoz on | December 26, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Johnson getting 4 wickets is an indication of how poorly the Sri Lankans batted (apart from Sangakkara). The rotation policy is a joke and will lead to the same distrust of management that developed before the Argus review took place. Look forward to another Clarke hundred tomorrow and hopefully Watson finding the middle of the bat and some gaps.

  • POSTED BY Prabhash1985 on | December 26, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    This is very clear. Australians never want opponents to be attacking. They clearly want to put the opponent into defensive mode. And if you do, that's the end of your match, win for Aussies is sealed. Mahela did reallly well. He kept on attacking. Attacking Aussies is the only way to win against them, but also it opens the gates for losing. Sri Lankans did really well in bowling. It could have been 5 down for this score if those two catches by Sanga and Dillie were taken. You cannot lose half chances to win against Aussies. You need to take them all. Because they are going to grow exponentially, if you allow them to stay alive. Anyway, Mahela is doing a great job. I firmly believe that Sri Lanka will win this match. I am not day dreaming. I'm 101% sure, and I know what I say. Keep attacking. We have a good chance to win. Warner's innings is just a single stand in the flat land. Warner was meant to fight like that. He did it. SRI LANKANS WILL WIN.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | December 26, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    @ tommy at least every other team plays consistantly, minnows or not.

  • POSTED BY nthuq on | December 26, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    @maf17, Warner's actually really impressed me with his temperament lately. His amazing scoring rate doesn't at all indicate the significant number of balls he defended or left, or the singles he pushed. If he was in T20 mode, considering the form he's in, he would have hit several sixes in his innings. His dismissal indicated either a loss of concentration or simply not realising there was a fielder where he hit the ball (it had only just been placed there). Indeed, the way he played the shot, it seemed that he was trying to run it along the ground, but didn't get it properly. For other players, a loss in concentration means a poke outside off stump and an edge. For Warner, it's an ugly looking catch in the deep.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | December 26, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Minnow battle continues....

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | December 26, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    I didn't see any of the game today unfortunately, but I'm pleased to see that MJ was rewarded for his not too shabby Perth performance and while we don't like to see cricketers injured, it's nice to see Mitch breaking bones again.

  • POSTED BY tony122 on | December 26, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    @lillianthomson- Jaya is a great player in the sub continent. But he averages in mid 30's in SA,ENG,NZ and AUS. all through his career. His very cricinfo profile page says that. I will not call him great outside subcontinent ever.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | December 26, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @ Meety... who cares mate.... the more the merrier, a victory against the fifth best team does not scare me or the Aussie team.

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | December 26, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Sri Lanka's problems are identical to India's one year ago.

    Four batsmen aged over 35! Of whom only Sangakkara and Dilshan are still capable of Test cricket on lively wickets. Watching the once-great Jayawardene struggle in Australia is just like seeing the noble Dravid fail last year.

    Congratulations though to Mitch Johnson. He was under horrible public pressure a couple of years ago when his mother denounced him in the media, and apart from that 18 month period when he was unwilling tabloid fodder he has ALWAYS performed as an international cricketer.

    He looked really dangerous today, and if you think back to the Perth Test v SA, Johnson got the big wickets while Starc just knocked over the tail to get inflated figures.

  • POSTED BY trav696 on | December 26, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    It was a really disappointing batting performance by Sri Lanka. 4 of the top 6 went out to lose shots that were unnecessary. Dilshan, Mahela, Samaraweera, and Mathews all played at balls they didn't need to/ or played silly shots that weren't required. Australia didn't bowl that well, it was just that Sri Lanka batted poorly. Sri Lanka need to get their act together if they hope to bowl Aus out for a low total, and get a really good 2nd innings score to put Aus under pressure. Sri Lanka can't make the same stupid errors that they did in their first innings!!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 26, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    @ rickyvoncanterbury on (December 26 2012, 07:42 AM GMT) - great, another Pommy Troll!

  • POSTED BY tony122 on | December 26, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    @Peter the greek- SA are not jokers. It is just that cricket is not that big a sport there unlike Australia, just think for a country of 50 or so million, where half the players actually come from a pool of 5 million, and where the game is an also ran weekend picnic they are pretty good at it.

  • POSTED BY maf17 on | December 26, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    I love Warner, he really is a star, a player of freakish ability and a potential Test captain, but he really has to get out of this mindset that every ball not slammed to the boundary is wasted. 3 innings, 3 superb starts, 3 half-centuries, 3 silly dismissals. I'm afraid for Cowan, though, I dont think there is a future. Very unimpressive today with a perfect pitch and lacklustre attack. Only scoring boundaries from the cut shot, just not good enough. Australia's batting order will eventually be Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, it is apparent that the selectors will only be brought to this realisation the hard way, probably during the Ashes unfortunately.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    @Neil Robinson. Don't worry mate, Boxing Day test at the MCG is here to stay. The attendances help prove it. Australia aren't jokers like South Africa. The Boxing Day test is the biggest on the international cricket calendar. Might as well give up on cricket if there's no test match at the MCG,

  • POSTED BY tony122 on | December 26, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    @satish chander- I completely agree with you. In Aussie pitches if one is serious about winning the series one must go with tall fast bowlers. That is why it baffles me why india does not pick bowlers like VRV Singh,Pankaj Singh, Manpreet Gony along with Ishant in overseas conditions? Why have we discarded these bowlers with a few chances? A bowler like Sreesanth will do wonders in ENG,NZ even SA but will come short in Aussie conditions. Bowlers like DInda are great performers in domestic circuit,but let's be honest here he will always be an also ran in the international level. He neither has top class pace and is short so will not extract much bounce. We must pick horses for courses. I wish SL all the luck- but it is unlikely they will make much of a match of it now. Bad luck for them M.C.G. AND S.C.G. and changed in the last couple of years. They are now practically indistinguishable from the Gabba surface. And with bigger grounds actually more bowler friendly.

  • POSTED BY senthil25 on | December 26, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    CONGRATS Sanga..........come on srilanka dont give up...pls dont get white wash.........but Good Captaincy by Clarke........

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Congratulation Sanga, you are a legend.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    It was easily the most inept batting performance by a touring Sri Lankan side. Yes, the bowling was good ... line and length and hard to score initially, but some of the shot selection were inexcusable. Dilshan and Mahela were the main culprits. It looked the big stage - Boxing Day - was too big to handle. May be, Sri Lanka should have fielded first. Talking about winning the Boxing Day test match, first you should be able to compete at level terms before thinking about winning.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    It is real poor show from SL batsman.Dilshan played poor shoot,Mahela always knick the ball against good fast bowlers.Mettews palyed a real rash shot He want to do better if he is going to captain SL in the future.It is really the time for these old guys give it to younger generation like Chandimal,Thirimanna & Banuka.It is so despoilment to see catchers go down after Asues were 117/3 they should been 140/5.They are bit hard if u want to compete against auses with this very mediocre bowling attack.U should hold on to your catchers.

  • POSTED BY pitch_curator on | December 26, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    Congrats Sanga. Statswise Sanga and Mahela look the same class but I have observed that Mahela has flopped repeatedly in Australia and SAF while Sanga performs in these bowler friendly conditions as well. Phenomenal player. How much more time has he got?? @ matchfixerpkn -- Warner had the freedom as SL had a low score and Sanga did not have the same freedom. Remember that the same Warner was called an idiot when he got out first over in Perth against Stein while playing an attacking shot. Try to understand the match situation before commenting

  • POSTED BY TYJAY on | December 26, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    @ rickyvoncanterbury on (December 26 2012, 07:42 AM GMT) That is truth dude!! Australia only pledge multiculturalism !!! But unfortunately reality is the opposite !!! It will take few generation to change CA. It has changed in England, SA and NZ.

  • POSTED BY Gangnam_Gangsta on | December 26, 2012, 7:59 GMT

    Sangkara averages about 50 in Australia and that is very decent average but sample size is rather small, he has only played about 5 tests that IS too mainly post Mcgrath and Warne's retirement. He did play a big inning in Hobart couple of years back but that pitch did not have much fizz, and Australia was in rebuilding phase as far as their bowling is concerned, that may have something to do with his decent numbers down under a bit. He does have a problem against bouncing angling ball around off stump to which he offers his edge regularly. However, he is better than many SL batsman in dealing with the pace. Biggest contribution to his average has been from SSC Colombo where he averages close to 79. But then Mahela averages close to hundred at SSC.

  • POSTED BY gnanzcupid on | December 26, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    Mahela is out of form this series.So the task is very simple for the Aus bowlers for the rset of the series.Get Sanga out early and we win the match and whitewash them comfortably.I know its v premature to predict a whitewash.But looking at the pathetic form of the Lankan team with no real young talents,i see nothing could prevent them from losing all the test matches

  • POSTED BY gnanzcupid on | December 26, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    What an irresponsible batting from Lankans.The pitch was neither a minefield nor it had demons. It was due to mere lack of application from the seniors and lack of talent among the youngsters.Seeing the current form the Lankan team is in,i would be joking if i say i expect a fightback from the Lankans

  • POSTED BY matchfixerpkn on | December 26, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    i believe form of watson and warner are going to decide ashes ... david warners 50+ runs alwyas look like 200+ runs for oppositin ....

    not so much.. you have to rid of peterson :)

  • POSTED BY Gangnam_Gangsta on | December 26, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    Sangkara averages about 50 in Australia and that is very decent average but sample size is rather small, he has only played about 5 tests that IS too mainly post Mcgrath and Warne's retirement. He did play a big inning in Hobart couple of years back but that pitch did not have much fizz, and Australia was in rebuilding phase as far as their bowling is concerned, that may have something to do with his decent numbers down under a bit. He does have a problem against bouncing angling ball around off stump to which he offers his edge regularly. However, he is better than many SL batsman in dealing with the pace. Biggest contribution to his average has been from SSC Colombo where he averages close to 79. But then Mahela averages close to hundred at SSC.

  • POSTED BY gnanzcupid on | December 26, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Poor show by the Lankans. This match will be over by the end of day 3.It will again be either of the two 10000+ league member who should battle it to drag on the innings.Unless a miracle happens tomorrow morning or if it rains(which seems not probable),nothing can save Lanka

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | December 26, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    @ TYJAY on (December 26 2012, 07:30 AM GMT) Take a chill pill dude.

  • POSTED BY nav84 on | December 26, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Congrats Sanga!! You might be a whining trickster but you also are the only Sri Lankan who can hold a bat outside subcontinent.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    Wow, what a disgraceful performance from the Sri Lankans, only one batsman was able to show application to the crease and make use of the excellent batting conditions. Mahela and Dimuth need to locate their offstump whilst every other batsman should be disgusted with the shots they played to get dismissed. After all this effort to get a boxing day test Sri Lanka have completely blown it, as a supporter I'm appalled. The bowling from Eranga in particular was ordinary and they got lucky for their three wickets, but then blew it again by dropping chances that their bowlers had finally created. I'm disgusted...

  • POSTED BY matchfixerpkn on | December 26, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    both sangakara and warner scored 50 +....see the difference..easily any one can pick warners 50 as match wining knock or one knock out punch .. thats y these impact players like warner is always danger ..

  • POSTED BY gestapo on | December 26, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    last year this time, the indians were given a pasting Down Under, this year it's the lankans turn i guess.

  • POSTED BY TYJAY on | December 26, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    SL dropped 2 chances (reasonable ones) and that will cost the dearly.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 26, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Congrats Sanga. Not much else went right for SL. Good effort from their bowlers, but dropping Watto & Pup SHOULD kill any chance SL had of winning. MJ put in a typical peformance, good 1st spell, shocking spell just before lunch, then an MJ special after Lunch. Dunno if he has improved at all, but with a career S/R of 55, he'll be there abouts for OZ, for a few more years.

  • POSTED BY magpye on | December 26, 2012, 7:00 GMT

    This just shows how incompetent our selectors are - to play John Hastings in Perth ahead of Bird. And the rotation policy please !!!! Forget the science and look at the actual results - more bowlers injured than ever.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    Hughes needs to work on three things. Running between the wickets. Calling. Listening. Once that's done the top order should be in reasonable shape.

  • POSTED BY bhrangi on | December 26, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    Now i understood why Srilankan fans didn't joined in bashing Indian team when we were defeated by Eng young lads and Pakistan. It was going to a night mare for us when Australia Visit India. Wishes for Srianka for remaining sessions in this test.

  • POSTED BY matchfixerpkn on | December 26, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    dear srilankan dnt get upset..this is expected from best srilankan line up ....they cant do more than this in non batsman friendly pitches .. and for australia..dnt take this as so proud....your not even getting 20% of competetion from oppositon...in ashes ..it will be much thogher...getting wickets of subcontient team with paper tigers is not real game.... beware of ashes ..get well prepared for it... best of luck for both the teams...

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | December 26, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    @RednWhiteArmy on (December 26 2012, 00:13 AM GMT ...I have to agree with you, only 2 short years has seen the demise of England and the rise of the might Aussies.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | December 26, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Congrats !! Sanga for reaching a personal milestone !!!!! but as a team SL is badly placed at the moment & making Aus on top.... a big task ahead for SL team in this test.......

  • POSTED BY St.John on | December 26, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    SL are practically all out after the fall of the 4th or 5th wicket. Herath, Welegedera, Eranga, & Prasad cant hold a bat. Even wktkeeper Prassana has lost whatever he had.At the top only Dilshan can really turn a match around. 50's and cameos from the other so called top order dont cut no ice in Test cricket. Embarrasing SL! Really embarrasing!

  • POSTED BY teammate on | December 26, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    Congrats Sangakkara. Its a nice to see you go past 10,000 runs.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    First Srilankans are shot down like ducks in their first innings, the only highlight for them is their best batsman Sangakkara go 10,000 runs in 195 innings and joined the elite club. Their bowling is very weak and they are being man handled by Australian batsman. Goosh how the score card of Australia going to look like, let us see at the end of second day of the Boxing Day test match.

  • POSTED BY Jesusislife4me on | December 26, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Ha ha ha! Johnson and friends! That was a tv show my daughters used to watch 15 to 20 years ago. They were big stuffed animals from what I vaguely remember, a far cry from what the Aussie bowlers are becoming, a force to be reckoned with each time they pick up the ball to bowl.

  • POSTED BY shwet14 on | December 26, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    Among the 3 sub continent giants, SL seem to be struggling the most. Mahela is clearly on decline, can't score outside friendly conditions of the SSC in Colombo. Sangakkara is the real deal. Dilshan is more of a hit-or-miss player. and no one seems to be capable of replacing them when they leave in 2-3 years. Bowling post Murali is pathetic except Herath. Pak seems to be the better of the 3. India struggling to find test quality bowlers even in home conditions. If they cannot overcome this problem, even Aus can be a handful though clearly pose a lesser threat than England.

  • POSTED BY Gangnam_Gangsta on | December 26, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    Sri Lanka is again behaving like a paper tiger. They are going to lose this test by a big big margin. Sangkara while can play a bit outside subcontinent, Mahela is totally lost. And now Angelo Matthews is showing similar signs of being a flat track bully. While India's losses are understandable to some extent, as they are in that tricky rebuilding phase, there are no excuses for Sri Lanka as this the best team they have had in a long time.

  • POSTED BY TYJAY on | December 26, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Oweful batting siplay by SL. Some of the players just donated their wicket to Aussies. Angelo is not a test player. Giving him a captaincy is a suicidal for SL cricket.. I was very upset that Chandimal was not given an opportunity. Mahela's days are now over. He cannot play outside the wicket ball. I hope he will retire and not play 3rd test.

    All in all very disappointing.. Most of them payed like T20- game.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Another Collapse against Aussies. should learn from SA how to play test in OZ and winning the series.bloody shame on you SL.

  • POSTED BY Prabhash1985 on | December 26, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    It's ok. Just play your natural cricket. That's fine. Don't worry. Just enjoy the game.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    Well . If Hilfenhaus,Pattinson and Starc are not there,the Aussies have Siddle,Jhonson and Bird to do the seamers role well . Compare this with the Indian team and you know where they are . The Australian system of identifying and nurturing fresh talents is unmatched.

  • POSTED BY Solace1 on | December 26, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Yes 10000 for Sanga, now we should pick 5 or 6 aussie wickets by today and bowl them out tomorrow morning, we can take it from there

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | December 26, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    I fail to understand why Michael Clarke OVERBOWLED Mitchell Johnson,when he could see that Kumar Sangakarra was relishing Johnson's bowling. He hit THREE fours in the 21st over,ONe in the 23rd,ONe in the 25th, ALL OFF Johnson's bowling. Clarke ALLOWED Sangakarra to get set. Johnson bowled 9-2-1-44,Bird -8-2-1-18,Siddle 4-1-1-16,Watson 3-2-0-3.Johnson was the MOST EXOPENSIVE,LEAST EFFECTIVE. Michael Clarke should have gone for the jugular with ePter Siddle.

  • POSTED BY Sanga2014 on | December 26, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    I dont know Why Mahela strugling in his form

  • POSTED BY bMike on | December 26, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    Congrats Sanga..!!! Sangakkara was the fastest to reach 8000 runs and 9000 runs in the history of test cricket. Now he's also the fastest to reach 10000 runs along with Lara and Tendulkar. Sanga has played 50 test matches away from home and his batting average in those matches is almost 50. Not as a wicket keeper (as a pure batsman) Sanga has scored 6843 runs in 66 matches with the average of 67.08. No other batsman other than Sir Don Bradman has achieved this much success as a pure batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 0:18 GMT

    Chandimal should be brought into open the innings in the 3rd test with Dilshan. I think Dilshan's wicket today has possibly confirmed that he will retire from test cricket after this series.

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | December 26, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    I cant believe its 2 years since the England spoiled the australian xmas by winning by an innings at mcg. One of 3 innings victories England had in that series.

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    11:30 Christmas Night in the UK. CA NEVER NEVER take away the Boxing Day Melbourne Test in favour of some 'Noddy' T20 tournament please

  • POSTED BY on | December 25, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    11:30 Christmas Night in the UK. CA NEVER NEVER take away the Boxing Day Melbourne Test in favour of some 'Noddy' T20 tournament please

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | December 26, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    I cant believe its 2 years since the England spoiled the australian xmas by winning by an innings at mcg. One of 3 innings victories England had in that series.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 0:18 GMT

    Chandimal should be brought into open the innings in the 3rd test with Dilshan. I think Dilshan's wicket today has possibly confirmed that he will retire from test cricket after this series.

  • POSTED BY bMike on | December 26, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    Congrats Sanga..!!! Sangakkara was the fastest to reach 8000 runs and 9000 runs in the history of test cricket. Now he's also the fastest to reach 10000 runs along with Lara and Tendulkar. Sanga has played 50 test matches away from home and his batting average in those matches is almost 50. Not as a wicket keeper (as a pure batsman) Sanga has scored 6843 runs in 66 matches with the average of 67.08. No other batsman other than Sir Don Bradman has achieved this much success as a pure batsman.

  • POSTED BY Sanga2014 on | December 26, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    I dont know Why Mahela strugling in his form

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | December 26, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    I fail to understand why Michael Clarke OVERBOWLED Mitchell Johnson,when he could see that Kumar Sangakarra was relishing Johnson's bowling. He hit THREE fours in the 21st over,ONe in the 23rd,ONe in the 25th, ALL OFF Johnson's bowling. Clarke ALLOWED Sangakarra to get set. Johnson bowled 9-2-1-44,Bird -8-2-1-18,Siddle 4-1-1-16,Watson 3-2-0-3.Johnson was the MOST EXOPENSIVE,LEAST EFFECTIVE. Michael Clarke should have gone for the jugular with ePter Siddle.

  • POSTED BY Solace1 on | December 26, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    Yes 10000 for Sanga, now we should pick 5 or 6 aussie wickets by today and bowl them out tomorrow morning, we can take it from there

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 3:46 GMT

    Well . If Hilfenhaus,Pattinson and Starc are not there,the Aussies have Siddle,Jhonson and Bird to do the seamers role well . Compare this with the Indian team and you know where they are . The Australian system of identifying and nurturing fresh talents is unmatched.

  • POSTED BY Prabhash1985 on | December 26, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    It's ok. Just play your natural cricket. That's fine. Don't worry. Just enjoy the game.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Another Collapse against Aussies. should learn from SA how to play test in OZ and winning the series.bloody shame on you SL.