SL Board XI v Australians, Colombo, 1st day August 25, 2011

Copeland five-for restricts SL Board XI to 258

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Australians 26-0 trail Sri Lanka Board XI 258 (Chandimal 59, Copeland 5-47) by 232 runs
Live scorecard

At a time when the pay structure of Australia's cricketers has been questioned, Trent Copeland represents tremendous value for money. He nabbed 5 for 47 against Sri Lanka Board XI to make a compelling case for selection in the first Test in Galle next week.

Possessing neither a Cricket Australia contract nor a Twenty20 Big Bash League deal, Copeland thus subsists on a state contract with New South Wales. The Argus review's recommendations about the need to use performance as the primary reason for selecting and paying players would appear to have been written with cricketers like Copeland in mind.

Having forced the hand of the national selectors' via the old fashioned path of taking wickets in vast quantities, the 25-year-old Copeland also serves as a reminder that a good deal of talent remains in the Sheffield Shield, despite its apparent decline over the past handful of summers.

Following Copeland's incisions, the spin bowlers Michael Beer and Nathan Lyon assisted in restricting Board XI to 258 at Colombo's P Sara Oval, as captain Michael Clarke assessed his options in the field after losing the toss. Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja then took the Australians to 26 for no loss at the close.

Harris, with 2 for 39, rivalled Copeland as the sharpest member of the Australian bowling quintet, Copeland showing stamina, subtle movement and immaculate line while Harris was swift and moved the ball with bounce. Their success, and the minimal threat posed by Peter Siddle (0 for 55 in 11 overs), brought Australia's likely Test pace attack into sharper focus. Harris and Mitchell Johnson appear likely to provide the speed and Copeland the reliability.

Of the Board XI's batsmen, Tharanga Paranavitana survived more than he thrived in reaching 49, and Dinesh Chandimal's 59 arrived too late to prevent his omission from the Sri Lanka Test squad after a poor run with the bat in the ODI series. The captain, Angelo Mathews, played haltingly before he was bowled by the unerring Copeland.

Fielding first on a pitch friendly to batsmen, the Australians had given a first outing to the five bowlers - Harris, Siddle, Copeland, Lyon and Beer - called up exclusively for Test match duty.

A handful of spectators were treated to the rare sight of Ricky Ponting running drinks as he was spelled from tour duty alongside Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson and James Pattinson. There were a few bowlers in need of them as the humidity drew plenty of sweat, but neither Harris nor Copeland were able to draw edges in their opening bursts despite beating the bat consistently.

More runs had accrued from the edges of the bat than the middle by the time Lyon was introduced for his first bowl in front of Clarke, who would have been entitled to ask 'and what is it that you do?' before handing him the ball. Lyon gained some turn from the start and demonstrated the enticing loop that had so encouraged the national selectors, but he also dropped short, either side of a brief rain delay, as Paranavitana and Lahiru Thirimanne neared lunch.

Their stand was broken by what became the final ball of the morning session when Thirimanne edged a Copeland delivery angled across him to be caught behind for 32. Copeland is the most dependable of practitioners, hitting the same awkward line and length ball upon ball with a little movement either way. His pace is strictly medium, but swift enough to prevent most batsmen from surviving if they miscalculate. With a method minted for long-form cricket, he looks like a Test bowler.

Soon after the resumption Paranavitana played back to Copeland when he might have been forward to a ball that straightened, and was given lbw. A partnership followed between Chandimal and Bhanuka Rajapaksa in which the former played the aggressor, dancing down to loft Lyon over mid-on.

Unsurprisingly it was the probing Copeland who broke the stand, coaxing an edge from Rajapaksa that was again held by Brad Haddin, this time diving superbly low to his left. This created an opportunity for Harris to exploit, which he did in the following over when Chandimal sliced a loose back foot push at a ball delivered from around the wicket to gully.

From 171 for 4 at tea, Mathews was soon beaten on the back foot by a Copeland delivery that arrowed into him and may have kept a fraction low, before Thilan Samaraweera lashed out wildly at a rare wider offering from the same bowler and was caught behind. It was Copeland's fifth haul of five wickets in 18 first-class matches.

Silva squeezed Beer to silly point where Khawaja held a neat catch, and Lyon claimed a victim when Kosala Kulasekara swung to deep midwicket. Dilruwan Perera's inside edge onto pad was snapped up by Haddin, and Harris deservedly collected Thisara Perera after a nuisance partnership of 49 for the final wicket.

Neither Lyon (1 for 71) nor Beer (2 for 39) were particularly mesmeric, though the offspinner turned the ball past the bat more than once and drew the local batsmen down the pitch more readily than his left-arm orthodox counterpart. Nevertheless, Beer bowled tidily after tea and chimed in with a pair of wickets to finish the day with more attractive figures. Haddin held five catches, one of them brilliant.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Biggus on August 26, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    @Trueman's_Ghost-Copeland's tall, accurate, and will ideally bowl just short of a driving length, land it on the seam, and get it to noodle a little either way. Just what the attack needs I reckon if you're going to take MJ into a test, with his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act. Doubly so if you're not too sure about your spinner, just in case MJ has a shocker and the tweaker gets butchered. If that happens Copeland will be able to bowl a lot of overs and (hopefully) tie up an end.

  • Mervo on August 26, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Why is O'Keefe not playing? He should be. Why is Copeland playing? No contract, not selected initially and every cricket follower in Australian knew he would be good, but not the dumb selectors. They picked .... Siddle. Groan. when will we learn?

  • Truemans_Ghost on August 26, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    Will be an interesting test series for a neutral (if such a thing exists!). Hopefully they will be televised in the UK. I'm curious to see Marsh and Khawaja, who aussies onheare have been raving about for a long time. Also interested to see this Copeland. What sort of bowler is he (Biggus? Meety?). Casting a (granted only semi-informed) eye over the Australian squad team it looks like there should be some runs in it but I don't fancy the attack much, especially on Sri Lankan flat tops. Johnson might be brilliant, but probably won't. Can Harris stay fit? I can't see Siddle doing much, the spinners are work-a-day and, although i know he has a decent record, I can't get wild about Bollinger. Mind you you could say much the same of SL and with the reputation of flat tracks out there there may not be many results. Still I've been wrong before

  • hyclass on August 26, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    So@Blake Houston,Harmison,with a modest average and S/R and renowned for spraying the ball all over the shop and not being the sharpest tool in the shed,used his incisive reasoning and relentless,pressure building skill,to target a weakness on Hughes that no other bowler had ever found.Meanwhile,those unintelligent,wasteful and poorly skilled SA bowlers,Steyn,Ntini,Morkel,Kallis and Harris,with 1100+Test wickets at a far better S/R and average,bowled gentle short balls and half volleys outside off,session after session to Hughes without ever bowling 145kmh + at his body?Youre basically calling all fast bowlers everywhere,stupid and talentless.His supposed weakness is a myth.He succeeds when Nielsen isnt forcing changes in his batting technique which are completely unworkable,as he did before the 09 Lions game and has continued to do at Test level since.Thats why we are reading that Hughes will do it his way.Because his way,means not Nielsens,who is still the coach on this tour.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 26, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Not much suprise with Hughes, the balls not whistling past his throat, in around the ribs or moving off the seam, so I'd expect him to get a few 'easy' runs.

  • on August 26, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Hahaha, yes blake, Australian domestic bowlers never thought to not to bowl wide to Hughes in his multiple seasons of state cricket, they only play in the strongest domestic competition in the world. If only they were smart like those county cricket bowlers who he flogged mercilessly in his stints over there. I like your theory though, bowl tight to him and he'll struggle to score, he must be the only batsman that would work on right? I'm sure he doesn't know how to turn things to leg though, and as a short bloke I doubt he's faced much short stuff in his career. But I guess not everyone can play the short stuff like Steve Waugh. Calm down those talking about O'Keeffe, he's from NSW alright! He'll be in the team soon enough, whether worthy or not. And I agree with those saying 'no Siddle', why play the 26 year old quick with big motor when you can play the 31 year old with the permanently crocked knee who might just swing it a bit more.

  • Lord.emsworth on August 26, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    The SL test bowlers were aptly described as 'toothless' in the recent tour of England although SL, unlike the whitewashed Indians, did just lose narrowly. This SL board attack is not just 'toothless' but hasnt even got false teeth. I wouldnt read much into the Aussie batting here as even Boycotts famous granny could score like Bradman off these 'no hopers'. In the meanwhille SL's best Test bowler Chaminda Vaas, put into pasture by their former captain & Selectors, is proving to be one of the best bowlers in county cricket (Northamptonshire) if not the best!

  • VivGilchrist on August 26, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    Dismayed, you make the same mistake as our selectors when you talk of Smith. The idea of picking Smith because you believe he WILL be a good player is firstly unfair on him and also others competing for the same spot. A player should be chosen on form ala Copeland as they have good performance behind them when stepping up to this level. When a player out of form is chosen and he fails, it kills his confidence, and public perception is that the guy is undeserving of a baggygreen. This is now where Smith is at. Had he not played in the Ashes (before he was ready) people would not feel so negatively toward him. I blame the selectors, not Smith. May he go back to Shield, score runs, take wickets, EARN his spot and perform at the highest level if he is deserving of it.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on August 26, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    All aussies having a go at siddle and bollinger I tell u what if they were indians they would have pipped out sreesanth,ishant,praveen for their places our fast bowling stocks are awful to say least no culture to bowl fast on dead pitches I think u should sympathize with these two blokes

  • on August 26, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    @leassey, have u not seen Phil hughes flog 99/100 short and wide balls to the boundary?? His best shot is the cut shot and if u bowl short and wide at him u are bowling into his strength. Hughes weakness if u knew anything about cricket, is short bowling directed at his body, Hughes seldomly plays the pull shot in longer form cricket and he instead ducks and fends his bat at good short bowling. If u can keep the ball straight on the stumps or directed short at his body then he wont score runs, that is why he makes so many runs in state games because the bowlers are less disciplined he punishes anything a touch wide. Thats why eng;and found him out because they are accurate and smart enough to continuosly bowl to his weakness and not offer him anything he can cut. also leassey, Paine, bollinger and O'Keefe arent in the squad so u cant pick them, and putting down 2 players for each position isnt selecting a team. Don't post if u don't know what your talking about.

  • Biggus on August 26, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    @Trueman's_Ghost-Copeland's tall, accurate, and will ideally bowl just short of a driving length, land it on the seam, and get it to noodle a little either way. Just what the attack needs I reckon if you're going to take MJ into a test, with his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act. Doubly so if you're not too sure about your spinner, just in case MJ has a shocker and the tweaker gets butchered. If that happens Copeland will be able to bowl a lot of overs and (hopefully) tie up an end.

  • Mervo on August 26, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Why is O'Keefe not playing? He should be. Why is Copeland playing? No contract, not selected initially and every cricket follower in Australian knew he would be good, but not the dumb selectors. They picked .... Siddle. Groan. when will we learn?

  • Truemans_Ghost on August 26, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    Will be an interesting test series for a neutral (if such a thing exists!). Hopefully they will be televised in the UK. I'm curious to see Marsh and Khawaja, who aussies onheare have been raving about for a long time. Also interested to see this Copeland. What sort of bowler is he (Biggus? Meety?). Casting a (granted only semi-informed) eye over the Australian squad team it looks like there should be some runs in it but I don't fancy the attack much, especially on Sri Lankan flat tops. Johnson might be brilliant, but probably won't. Can Harris stay fit? I can't see Siddle doing much, the spinners are work-a-day and, although i know he has a decent record, I can't get wild about Bollinger. Mind you you could say much the same of SL and with the reputation of flat tracks out there there may not be many results. Still I've been wrong before

  • hyclass on August 26, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    So@Blake Houston,Harmison,with a modest average and S/R and renowned for spraying the ball all over the shop and not being the sharpest tool in the shed,used his incisive reasoning and relentless,pressure building skill,to target a weakness on Hughes that no other bowler had ever found.Meanwhile,those unintelligent,wasteful and poorly skilled SA bowlers,Steyn,Ntini,Morkel,Kallis and Harris,with 1100+Test wickets at a far better S/R and average,bowled gentle short balls and half volleys outside off,session after session to Hughes without ever bowling 145kmh + at his body?Youre basically calling all fast bowlers everywhere,stupid and talentless.His supposed weakness is a myth.He succeeds when Nielsen isnt forcing changes in his batting technique which are completely unworkable,as he did before the 09 Lions game and has continued to do at Test level since.Thats why we are reading that Hughes will do it his way.Because his way,means not Nielsens,who is still the coach on this tour.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 26, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Not much suprise with Hughes, the balls not whistling past his throat, in around the ribs or moving off the seam, so I'd expect him to get a few 'easy' runs.

  • on August 26, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Hahaha, yes blake, Australian domestic bowlers never thought to not to bowl wide to Hughes in his multiple seasons of state cricket, they only play in the strongest domestic competition in the world. If only they were smart like those county cricket bowlers who he flogged mercilessly in his stints over there. I like your theory though, bowl tight to him and he'll struggle to score, he must be the only batsman that would work on right? I'm sure he doesn't know how to turn things to leg though, and as a short bloke I doubt he's faced much short stuff in his career. But I guess not everyone can play the short stuff like Steve Waugh. Calm down those talking about O'Keeffe, he's from NSW alright! He'll be in the team soon enough, whether worthy or not. And I agree with those saying 'no Siddle', why play the 26 year old quick with big motor when you can play the 31 year old with the permanently crocked knee who might just swing it a bit more.

  • Lord.emsworth on August 26, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    The SL test bowlers were aptly described as 'toothless' in the recent tour of England although SL, unlike the whitewashed Indians, did just lose narrowly. This SL board attack is not just 'toothless' but hasnt even got false teeth. I wouldnt read much into the Aussie batting here as even Boycotts famous granny could score like Bradman off these 'no hopers'. In the meanwhille SL's best Test bowler Chaminda Vaas, put into pasture by their former captain & Selectors, is proving to be one of the best bowlers in county cricket (Northamptonshire) if not the best!

  • VivGilchrist on August 26, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    Dismayed, you make the same mistake as our selectors when you talk of Smith. The idea of picking Smith because you believe he WILL be a good player is firstly unfair on him and also others competing for the same spot. A player should be chosen on form ala Copeland as they have good performance behind them when stepping up to this level. When a player out of form is chosen and he fails, it kills his confidence, and public perception is that the guy is undeserving of a baggygreen. This is now where Smith is at. Had he not played in the Ashes (before he was ready) people would not feel so negatively toward him. I blame the selectors, not Smith. May he go back to Shield, score runs, take wickets, EARN his spot and perform at the highest level if he is deserving of it.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on August 26, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    All aussies having a go at siddle and bollinger I tell u what if they were indians they would have pipped out sreesanth,ishant,praveen for their places our fast bowling stocks are awful to say least no culture to bowl fast on dead pitches I think u should sympathize with these two blokes

  • on August 26, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    @leassey, have u not seen Phil hughes flog 99/100 short and wide balls to the boundary?? His best shot is the cut shot and if u bowl short and wide at him u are bowling into his strength. Hughes weakness if u knew anything about cricket, is short bowling directed at his body, Hughes seldomly plays the pull shot in longer form cricket and he instead ducks and fends his bat at good short bowling. If u can keep the ball straight on the stumps or directed short at his body then he wont score runs, that is why he makes so many runs in state games because the bowlers are less disciplined he punishes anything a touch wide. Thats why eng;and found him out because they are accurate and smart enough to continuosly bowl to his weakness and not offer him anything he can cut. also leassey, Paine, bollinger and O'Keefe arent in the squad so u cant pick them, and putting down 2 players for each position isnt selecting a team. Don't post if u don't know what your talking about.

  • hyclass on August 26, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    No-one has been better at creating doubt than CA.All the articles dismissing the Reviews effects are rubbish.One could not be more impressed by the level of doubt that is incumbent in this match.The 1st test starts in under a week and yet the team is far from known.Lyon is virtually anonymous and a prayer at best.If both Marsh and Khawaja fail,what then?They are both under pressure and short on form,with few opportunities,while playing for a test spot in a foreign country.If Haddin fails again with the bat,he can hardly be counted as a batsman in the test squad.Where is the back up keeper in a humid,spinners country?When this team comes together for the first test,it will have neither the best spinner,the best keeper batsman,nor the best middle order batsman in Australian 1st class cricket.With a such a wealth of talent spotters,coaches,institutes of excellence and available data on players,it beggars belief that a professional national team of any code could be run so poorly in 2011.

  • gzawilliam on August 26, 2011, 2:22 GMT

    Copeland needs to play! he already seems a mcgrath like bowler we have missed in test matches the last few years. Not quick but god damn accurate and it pays off.

    But this is usually where the selectors forget logic and pick someone like siddle out based on past performances causing us to lose another series. lets hope this doesn't happen.

    Im impressed by lyon. if he can just relax a touch he will definitely be in the test team for a long time. Beer though dependable is just not going to transfer to test match cricket well enough. My team..

    Hughes, Watson , Ponting , Hussey , Clarke(must move down the order), Haddin , Marsh , Johnson , harris , Lyon , Copeland. Siddle as 12th man.

  • RandyOZ on August 26, 2011, 2:15 GMT

    @Meety, great team, agree completely - if only O'Keefe replaced Lyon it would be bordering on perfect! Totally agree on Beer as well, not a fan.

  • leaseyy7 on August 26, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    This should be the Australian Test XI, depending on who makes what in this tour match. 1. Shane Watson. 2. Phillip Hughes/Shaun Marsh. 3. Ricky Ponting. 4. Michael Hussey. 5. Michael Clarke. 6. Usman Khawaja/ Steven O'Keefe. 7. Brad Haddin/Tim Paine. 8. Mitchell Johnson. 9. Trent Copeland. 10. Ryan Harris/Nathan Lyon. 11. Doug Bollinger/Peter Siddle.

    Reason for this is, Hughes and Marsh are both competant opening batsman, each with their own weakness. Hughes doesn't like short stuff outside off stump, Marsh doesn't like fuller balls swinging into middle and leg. Ponting SHOULD stay at 3 for this tour and until he feels like he isn't scoring as many runs as he should. Clarke is a #5 batsman, not a #4. The selectors made a mistake shifting Clarke to 4 and if Clarke is a sensible captain, he'll recognise that and shift himself back down. Haddin and Paine should have to compete for a spot... The bowlers, depends on what sort of wicket is been played on and who is taking wickets.

  • timmyw on August 26, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    I would love to see our bowling attack be Bollinger, Copeland, Harris. The spinner.... well, O'Keefe would appear to be the best bet, as the other two have only played a clutch of first class games. They will get slaughtered I think. Siddle should NOT be there, and I do not trust Johnson to not be terrible. I don't think we can have any bowler who is going to leak runs in our test side, they all have to bowl with discipline. Johnson just does not do this, his technique does not allow it. Both of those guys put far to many balls on the pads or hips of the batsman, who will just gleefully flick it off their body all day. or outright down leg side. I would love to see this eradicated from our line up. So frustrating to watch.

  • hyclass on August 26, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    Interesting to read Ponting views on the selection process when he first came into the side versus now.He saved his greatest criticism for players averaging in the 30s being selected,even going to the extent of suggesting that in his day,their fathers would have bought them a basketball or footy as a better option.Im confident that hes not unaware of Marsh and Ferguson around the squad.Its a pretty damning statement from a player of his calibre and i expect,very unsettling for those implicated.The trouble is,if your going to have a low average,you better bring something else to the table,like bowling or keeping.When there are guys like MacDonald and O'Keefe who are bowlers,along with Wade and Neville who are keepers,all as good or better with the bat,it questions the value and commitment of the others.When guys like Marsh or Ferguson need a score of only 135 to push their averages up by 1 run,one wonders why it hasnt happened and where the evidence is to suggest that it will happen.

  • on August 26, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    Well, given today's performances, the bowling attack will probably be three quicks (Johnson, Harris, Copeland) and one spinner, who, at this stage, could be either Lyon or Beer as neither really staked a claim. Tomorrow will tell whether Khawaja or Marsh gets the nod, and on the third day we may well find out whether it is Lyon or Beer who gets the nod. Siddle effectively bowled himself out of a spot, as 0-55 off 11 overs just isn't good enough at any level. He needs to learn to do more than just hit the deck hard, perhaps look at developing swing/cutters to gain more wickets. I think Copeland should open the bowling, as he will keep it tight and not concede runs, and have Johnson or Harris (probably Harris) open with him as a more attacking option to get the early wicket.

  • Meety on August 26, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    @Biggus - I agree, ever since that test series we played over summer where we didn't do well against that team whoever they were, I've been waiting for the SL series. Yes Sri Lanka are not the force they were with no Murali, Vaas or Malinga, but in home conditions they will always be tough (like another little island test playing nation across the Tasman). I wonder should Copeland do well in the Tests, will that make the selectors look at other bowlers who have done well lately in the Shield - like O'Keefe, Butterworth, Faulkner & Maher, Coulter-Nile & Cameron??? @Randyoz - "...we shouldn't expect the selectors to make two good decisions at once," - sad but true! Given we don't have O'Keefe, I am really hoping we play Lyon. If no Lyon, Hauritz, Smith, or O'Keefe, (or Doherty), then bring back Marcus North for the #8 spot in the batting line up!!!!! I'm not kidding!!!!!! NO BEER!!!!!!!!!!

  • Meety on August 26, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    I think the selectors for SL may have made a meal of things by naming a 16 man squad for the 1st Test. It was a failure of epic proportions when Oz did it just prior to the Ashes. Unless there are some injury concerns, a 13 man squad should suffice. MAYBE, SL are trying to trick Oz selectors by disguising the make up of the side - may confuse what the nature of the pitch will be????? Intriguing. == == == Oz team (hopefully), 1. Watson, 2. Hughes, 3. Ponting, 4. Khawaja, 5. Clarke (c), 6. Hussey, 7. Haddin, 8. Johnson, 9. Harris, 10. Lyon, 11. Copeland, 12th - Marsh (rather a batsmen be the 12th man). == == == Judging by the report, it would appear that Lyon bowled a bit better than Beer - except for the odd loose ball. Beer was more tidier, Lyon a little on the unlucky side. Having not seen the game, I can only go on the report & scorecard. Hopefully the selectors will look past the wicket tally?????

  • funkybluesman on August 26, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    You get lots of people from other states claiming some NSW bias with Australian selections, but it seems actually to be the opposite. Copeland and O'Keefe should have both played in the Ashes, but the selectors seemed desperate to look elsewhere. Finally they could no longer ignore the best pace bowler in state cricket, hopefully they won't be able to ignore the best spin bowler in state cricket for too much longer either.

  • RandyOZ on August 25, 2011, 23:32 GMT

    Thank the lord Bollinger didn't get in the squad. Siddle to be dropped immediately and Copeland to come straight in. Very disappointed to not see O'Keefe in the squad but we shouldn't expect the selectors to make two good decisions at once!

  • on August 25, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    Mine's only slightly different to Morgan's: Hughes, Marsh, Ponting, Watson (he's always been a top order player, have to keep him there), Clarke (always better at 5), Khawaja, Haddin, Johnson, O'Keefe, Harris, Copeland. When Ponting retires move Khawaja to 3, Ferguson comes in. Move haddin on in after the India tests, bring in Paine.

  • on August 25, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    why select the test squad before the warm up game do what professionals do like Aussies.S.L selectors learn from Aussies how to select a team.

  • Biggus on August 25, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    Looking forward greatly to the tests, which should be tightly contested. Copeland indeed must get a cap and back up Harris and Enigmatic Mitch. I still haven't actually had a look at Lyon yet, but I like the sound of a guy who apparently gives it a bit of a rip. I didn't think Beer was quite as bad as some posters here thought in the Ashes, and he copped a lot of bad vibes that should have gone to the selectors, but he's plainly no wonderboy either, so one of either Lyon or Beer to round out the attack. It's a pity Clarke can't bowl his stuff anymore and useful change bowlers are a bit of a rarity these days, a far cry from the times when practically everybody in the middle order could do something with the ball. I think that's cost us a great deal of flexibility. Anyway, hanging out for some serious cricket against two well matched sides.

  • landl47 on August 25, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    Nice work by Australia and by Copeland in particular. A tall, accurate bowler who does a bit either way off the pitch- now who does that remind you of? SL will be glad Paranavitana got a bit of a knock; I'm not sure if he'll be preferred to Tharanga, but he does look a decent bat. You can't, of course, judge any SL side without Dilshan, Sanga and the two Jayawardenes in it, but I'm sure Aus will be happy with their performance today.

  • on August 25, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    I like the look of that team Morgan , even if the batting order changes those are the players we should be picking.

  • on August 25, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    Copeland should play ahead of siddle or else Australian team is gone for

  • on August 25, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Surely it's got to be Copeland for the third seamer's spot? My two main frustrations come from the fact that neither Bollinger nor O'Keefe are here. I guess with our (now former!) selection panel, consistent high-class performances at first-class level isn't important. Rather, abstractions about 'form' and 'class' preside above all else.. My ideal team:

    1. Hughes 2. Watson (would be preferable if he batted in the middle-order - probably four - so he could bowl more, but he has excelled here and openly seeks to stay here) 3. Ponting 4. Khawaja (really isn't Clarke's spot - he has had a number of chances both in the last series Aus played and a number of years ago!) 5. Clarke 6. Hussey (always has been fantastic here as can play against a second new-ball, bats well against the tail and is solid against spin) 7. Haddin (look for Paine to come through this summer, but Haddin's batting may hold it!) 8. O'Keefe 9. Johnson 10. Harris/Bollinger 11. Copeland (adds variety and stability).

  • jonesy2 on August 25, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    well it sounds like everything went very soundly. siddle sounds like he might have to miss selection i mean you cant not choose copeland can you? spinners spot can be a toss of the coin even though it should be okeefe, i was just thinking now that the selectors have been kicked and clarke has a say why cant he call up steve and get him in the squad? haddin sounds like he is doing well he is after all one of the best catching keepers to play

  • dsig3 on August 25, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Siddle is fast running out of time. He should have nailed down his test spot a long time ago. He has been playing for a while now but he has not improved a great deal. Had some injuries but I think he needs to figure out what his role is. Him and Johnson cant both be leaking runs.

  • DINESHCC on August 25, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    POPCORN: DOHERTY IS IN THE PLAYING XI: THEN OK THE LANKAN TAKEN THE SERIES AS 3-0

  • VivGilchrist on August 25, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Wozza, I agree 100%. well said young man. Copeland has been in form now for 2 years. Harris once he gets back to full fitness is our smartest bowler and Johnson is a strike bowler. The missing piece in the attack is OKeefe - a guy who has been in form as well for the last 2 years. Watson down to no4, Clarke at his better suited at 5, and Khawaja serving his apprenticeship at 6. We have the talent - just have to pick it and play them to there strengths. Hughes will flourish without Neilsens interference and while a bowler like Siddle is a great trier he's not in our best 5 quicks. I think what I am trying to say is just pick the best players and pick on form.

  • Dismayed on August 25, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Please play Copeland ahead of Siddle. Please bring in O'keefe and bring back Smith, if Haddin must play ahead of Paine let him bat at 5/6 with Smith5/6 show some faith in the young guy he will be a real good player, Okeefe7, Johnson8, Harris9, Copeland10, Lyon11. I guess we have to have Pontin,Clarke for now as well give the young blokes ago.I think Warner has come along way in the last 12 months and should be looked at for all formats.Good to see some supportcoming through the comments for O'keefe.

  • on August 25, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Copeland and Harris have to be bowling with johnson. siddle leaked 5 runs per over and didnt take a wicket. siddle and johnson leak runs, cant afford both to be in the same side. harris and definately copeland compliment johnson. Copeland another 5 wicket haul and harris 2 wickets. well done. just need o'keefe in and thats our test bowling lineup. Paine will be putting pressure on haddin this summer i think. the number 6 spot is up for grabs. khawaja, marsh, maybe even a david warner could grab that spot. hang on dont laugh with the david warner. who thought he would ever play test cricket for australia, however he is almost the most inform batsman in australian cricket.

  • Wozza-CY on August 25, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    Well blow me down! A cricketer who has taken the hard road through the grades, overseas professionaling and two solid years in the state system makes a relatively smooth transition to international cricket. This concept will never catch on! Great to see Copeland back up his two seasons in Shield cricket & tour of Zim with this effort. If they don't pick him for the first test they have rocks in their heads. There is no reason to leave him out. J.Pattinsons six FC games & few ODI's don't compare with Copelands FC record & poor old Sid can't buy a wicket at this stage. He has to partner Harris in the 1st test with Johnson as 1st change. How you'd love O'keefe as the spinner but it looks like it will be Beer. With Watto struggling & no Dussey at 6 it means we'll be picking a no.6 with that doesn't bowl at all. All the more reason to go with Copelands' stamina.

  • Meety on August 25, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    On the topic of spinners - please no Beer! I know Lyons & Beer's FC statistics are comparable, BUT, looking deeper, Lyon's S/R in the short forms is twice as good. Also Beer was terrible against the Emerging Indians, getting tonked for 8 rpo. He has the jump on Lyon at the moment, but please pick Lyon IF we play 1 spinner!

  • Meety on August 25, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Well surely a 5-wicket haul will earn Mr Copeland a Baggygreen??? The guy is economical, he'll gladly bowl 30 overs in a day, & he picks up wickets. Given that is core to a bowlers KPIs, he is a must. A perfect foil to MJ. I think the question now is 2 spinners? or... Siddle v Harris? C'mon Ozzys!

  • jonesy2 on August 25, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    fantastic bowling perfomance from the chaps. who is going to claim the spinner spot? i would like lyon but beer's bowled well and cant be discluded

  • inefekt on August 25, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Popcorn, surely you are a Sri Lankan fan? Must be! Good to see Copeland get some wickets, hopefully he can push for a test spot but it looks as though Harris and Siddle will pip him to join Johnson.

  • jonesy2 on August 25, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    also, if australia lose a wicket when they bat then that will be considered a failure.

  • jonesy2 on August 25, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    copeland has bowled himself into a test spot. siddle the opposite. my boy harris seems up for it.

  • KingofRedLions on August 25, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Copeland with 5 wickets so far. Is he still a toiler?

  • sampi72 on August 25, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    I think selectors are in line with hiding theory regrading Eranga and prasanna.Otherwise thy should have replaced Dilruwan and Kosala Kulaseka in the line up.Will see the success of this theory .Good selection of batsmen.Tharanga P,Lahiru,Dinesh and banuka are our future .It is riking of playing angelo since he is always subject to injury.The selectors should have included Upul Tharanga instead of Angelo.Nice to see the inclusion of Thilan since he needs some practice.selectors should have selected Prasana J instead of Kaushal.My team is 1.T.Paranawithana2.Upul Tharanga 3. Thirimanne 4.Chandimal 5.Thilan 6.Banuka7.P.jayawardane8.thisara 9.D. Prasad 10.Eranga 11.S. Prasanna.My captain is Thilan.

  • popcorn on August 25, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    I wish Xavier Doherty was in the Test side.

  • cmonaussiecmon on August 25, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Marsh as opener!!!! Go Oz!

  • on August 25, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    My man Copeland gets the breakthrough and he is keeping it tight. Is this the battle between harris, siddle and copeland to bowl with Johnson in the 1st test. If only they had O'keefe, you could play 1 less batsman and play all quicks along with o'keefe. With smith dropped from 6, i would move haddin up then o'keefe to 7, johnson 8, harris 9, siddle 10 and copeland 11. i know copleand will miss out, but i would have him bowl with harris and johnson, i would have picked o'keefe as my spinner gee o'keefe is an impressive cricketer.

  • on August 25, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    good decision by Aus to rest Watson. He has enough pressures on his body with having to open the batting and probably have to bowl in the test. I addition he is already guaranteed a spot so why test him in a tour match.

  • on August 25, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    Good to see Bhanuka Rajapaksa given an oppertunity ........

  • hyclass on August 25, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    I notice as i look at the sides,that SL has neither Eranga nor Prassana in its bowling line up.Very interesting given their records.Good to see that Lyon has impressed the half a dozen or so people who were actually present during his long 4 match career.Obviously,Clarke wasnt one of them,not that it matters-hes only the Australian captain!I guess the assumption is that its the sub-continent and hes a spinner.Apparently any spinner will do,irrespective of their records.I expect at some point,that the absence of Bollinger,O'Keefe and a far better keeper,will be a talking point.I understand that Pattinson is highly regarded as a one day bowler,but if im taking someone with very few matches,on the possibilty of developing them,id want someone better credentialled,like the very fast,tall, Coulter-Nile,whose record is excellent.Interesting to hear Pontings poor views on batsmen averaging mid 30s,making the current squad.Id be feeling a little uncomfortable if i was Shaun Marsh.

  • katandthat3 on August 25, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    I don't think the SL's were going to play many frontline spinners to help us out before the 1st test which is fair enough, they must be pretty happy with their squad for the Test.

  • Meety on August 25, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    That's the side Oz had to run with. As I write, the Lankans have started well (slowly) 0/30 odd!

  • on August 25, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    Interestingly the Board XI does not have any specialized spinner in their squad.. Only Dilruwan Perera can be considered as a spinner somewhat

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  • on August 25, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    Interestingly the Board XI does not have any specialized spinner in their squad.. Only Dilruwan Perera can be considered as a spinner somewhat

  • Meety on August 25, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    That's the side Oz had to run with. As I write, the Lankans have started well (slowly) 0/30 odd!

  • katandthat3 on August 25, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    I don't think the SL's were going to play many frontline spinners to help us out before the 1st test which is fair enough, they must be pretty happy with their squad for the Test.

  • hyclass on August 25, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    I notice as i look at the sides,that SL has neither Eranga nor Prassana in its bowling line up.Very interesting given their records.Good to see that Lyon has impressed the half a dozen or so people who were actually present during his long 4 match career.Obviously,Clarke wasnt one of them,not that it matters-hes only the Australian captain!I guess the assumption is that its the sub-continent and hes a spinner.Apparently any spinner will do,irrespective of their records.I expect at some point,that the absence of Bollinger,O'Keefe and a far better keeper,will be a talking point.I understand that Pattinson is highly regarded as a one day bowler,but if im taking someone with very few matches,on the possibilty of developing them,id want someone better credentialled,like the very fast,tall, Coulter-Nile,whose record is excellent.Interesting to hear Pontings poor views on batsmen averaging mid 30s,making the current squad.Id be feeling a little uncomfortable if i was Shaun Marsh.

  • on August 25, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    Good to see Bhanuka Rajapaksa given an oppertunity ........

  • on August 25, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    good decision by Aus to rest Watson. He has enough pressures on his body with having to open the batting and probably have to bowl in the test. I addition he is already guaranteed a spot so why test him in a tour match.

  • on August 25, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    My man Copeland gets the breakthrough and he is keeping it tight. Is this the battle between harris, siddle and copeland to bowl with Johnson in the 1st test. If only they had O'keefe, you could play 1 less batsman and play all quicks along with o'keefe. With smith dropped from 6, i would move haddin up then o'keefe to 7, johnson 8, harris 9, siddle 10 and copeland 11. i know copleand will miss out, but i would have him bowl with harris and johnson, i would have picked o'keefe as my spinner gee o'keefe is an impressive cricketer.

  • cmonaussiecmon on August 25, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Marsh as opener!!!! Go Oz!

  • popcorn on August 25, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    I wish Xavier Doherty was in the Test side.

  • sampi72 on August 25, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    I think selectors are in line with hiding theory regrading Eranga and prasanna.Otherwise thy should have replaced Dilruwan and Kosala Kulaseka in the line up.Will see the success of this theory .Good selection of batsmen.Tharanga P,Lahiru,Dinesh and banuka are our future .It is riking of playing angelo since he is always subject to injury.The selectors should have included Upul Tharanga instead of Angelo.Nice to see the inclusion of Thilan since he needs some practice.selectors should have selected Prasana J instead of Kaushal.My team is 1.T.Paranawithana2.Upul Tharanga 3. Thirimanne 4.Chandimal 5.Thilan 6.Banuka7.P.jayawardane8.thisara 9.D. Prasad 10.Eranga 11.S. Prasanna.My captain is Thilan.