Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle August 30, 2011

Debuts for Copeland and Lyon; Khawaja to play

74

Seamer Trent Copeland and offspinner Nathan Lyon will make their Test debuts for Australia in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. Usman Khawaja edged Shaun Marsh out of the side, and will get his chance to bat at No. 6 in a line-up that was named one day early.

Lyon, who won the tussle for the lone spinner's spot with Michael Beer, is trained as a groundsman, and was seen in conversation with Greg Chappell, the selector on duty, before making a close inspection of the pitch. He extracted useful turn from the practice wickets either side of the match strip, though, appeared no more dangerous than Copeland, who beat the bat frequently.

It has been a most extraordinary rise for the 23-year-old Lyon, who until the first day of the tour match against Sri Lanka Board XI had never bowled in front of his captain Michael Clarke. Lyon made his debut for South Australia in the domestic Twenty20 tournament last year, where his performances won him rapid promotion to his state's Shield team and the Australia A team on the limited-overs leg of a tour of Zimbabwe. To date, he has taken 14 wickets in five first-class matches.

While there, he impressed all with his flight, loop and spin, and these aggressive attributes pushed him ahead of Beer, who played his first Test at the SCG at the conclusion of the Ashes. Lyon becomes the 11th spin bowler to be tried for Australia since Shane Warne retired in 2007. He will be used as an attacking, wicket-taking option by the tourists, who have arguably been given that option by Copeland's emergence as a stingy seam-up type not seen in Australian colours since Stuart Clark's time was up.

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said that while the surface will take spin, its dry nature would aid reverse-swing. The breeze from the Indian Ocean is also known to help the fast bowlers. Copeland is likely be used for long, tight spells while Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris tear in at the other end.

Michael Clarke acknowledged Copeland's strengths, which have also been cited by numerous locals, as likely to be exceptionally useful in Sri Lankan wickets. Also central to his thinking is the fact that Johnson and Harris will be more capable of slipping in quick, aggressive spells with the support of Copeland.

"The greatest advantage Copes has is his statistics in first-class cricket don't tell a lie," Clarke said. "There's a reason he's had success there and I'm certain it'll be the same reason he [will] have success for Australia. He's got great control. Very rarely do you see too many blokes hitting him with the middle of the bat consistently and I think that's because he's got good height and he just wobbles the ball enough. I'm a big wrap for him - I love his control, I love the way he bowled in the first game.

"He bowls a lot of overs for not many runs, so that's a great strength. In these conditions if the wickets are flat, it gives you the option to set fields he can bowl to. Because his pace is a little bit slower, he generally has more control so he can bowl more to a field than someone who is bowling at 150km/h."

There have been 12 outright results from the 17 Test matches played at the Galle International Stadium since 1998, nine of them enjoyed by the hosts. Only when rain intervenes, as it did when the Australians first played here in 1999, do the chances of a firm outcome dissipate.

Clarke, in his first Test as Australia's fully-fledged Test captain, could not help but notice the lack of grass on a good length at either end of the pitch. Whatever excess foliage remained in the middle had been shaved off by the ground staff by the time the Australians returned for their final training session.

"It looked dry at the ends yesterday; it looked like they had cut the grass off the ends but left the grass in the middle of the wicket," Clarke said. "But I got a phone call last night saying when we left the ground they shaved that as well. I don't know what happened after training but the wicket seemed to have changed.

"It's pretty hard as well; it will definitely spin but I don't know if it will spin [from] day one or day two. There might be a bit more pace and bounce than what we had in the practice game. It will spin, but it is just a matter of how early or how much."

Australia have misread overseas pitches before, no more disastrously than the dry surface for the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval in 2009, when no specialist spinner was chosen. However Clarke said it was important the tourists did not get spooked by the perceived threat of the conditions, and chose the combination most likely to succeed in the team's first Test since the horrors of the previous home summer.

"I just think with the first match of the series we've got to get the right combination," Clarke said. "If we think the quicks are going to be our best solution to take 20 wickets then we have to go with three fast bowlers no matter what Sri Lanka do, or no matter if we think it's going to spin. Looking at that wicket yesterday looks quite hard and dry and that will bring reverse-swing into play ... if it's hard there might be a bit more carry into play as well."

Australia XI for Galle: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Phil Hughes, 3 Ricky Ponting, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Usman Khawaja, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Trent Copeland, 10 Ryan Harris, 11 Nathan Lyon. (12th man - Michael Beer)

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hyclass on September 1, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    @youngkeepersdad...very tough call on Hughes who has opened with aplomb for over 100 innings,16 centuries and a 1st class average over 50.He is still only 22. It would be a hard critic indeed who blamed his technique for the brute of a delivery that took off from a length and took his wicket in the first innings. I cant imagine a technique that would have dealt with that ball. His 2nd innings LBW was also highly doubtful.There is no question in my mind that his technique is not at fault,nor his youth and i strongly believe,that given the support that has been absent since SA 09,that he will rise to great heights.He has the one ingredient that no technique can buy-character.Batting in SL has been a minefield for all batsmen on a pitch that warrants scathing criticism. Late on the 3rd day,the highest score by an opener is Paranavitanas 29 from over a hundred balls. While i understand your reasoning, i disagree with your conclusions.

  • ygkd on September 1, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    The thing I'd say about Phil Hughes is that youth can succeed initially, but then they need the game to go on (or more likely to come back after subsequently failing). Doing it your own way is fine, but you need a core technique to fall back on. I'm not sure Hughes' core technique is that of an opener. And he's certainly not the one to partner Watson at the top of the order, because Watson's core technique is not exactly that of an opener either. Dare I say it, Katich fitted the bill better. Hughes' spot seems more like No 6. That's not to say they won't make runs together, but can such a partnership be reliable enough? The SL bowlers found a good line and length to Hughes and I wasn't surprised when his wicket fell. I still say that Australia is not teeming with quality openers at present.

  • on August 31, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Aussies are playing statistics when it comes to spinning option. Greater numbers you try higher the probability that you discover a good option. Trouble really is that it does not work in cricket or any team sport. England were at the poorest best when they kept changing their teams and fielding duds and no hopers. If anything needs chopping and changing, its the selectors which happily board is doing.

  • hyclass on August 31, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Again,@John Biddle, lets agree to disagree...I dont see pointing out 16 centuries in just over a hundred innings at over 50 as cherry picking...I dont consider 633 runs with 3 centuries in his last 4 first class games at an average of 90 and a List A 138 for Australia A at last start, as him being gifted his place...these are his most recent results and stand up in all company...His career achievements are a matter of public record and are there as a rebuttal to unwarranted vitriol, that addresses the effects with sagacity and the cause with myopic indolence ...the 1637 runs in 10 games serve as a juxtapoint for what immediately followed them and why it was worthy of observation,given the extreme disparity...ive identified what is in the public forum with regard to his lapsed form and to whom accountability should be assigned...how others choose to view that information is outside my sphere of influence.

  • on August 31, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Hyclass - you'll have to forgive my inability to see any valid comparison between chasing a small total on what had throughout the match been a good batting track against a pretty friendly NZ attack with batting first on a raging greentop in England against a Pakistan attack as strong as any in the world in those conditions. While I sincerely hope Hughes can make the success of test cricket he looked like he would in his first series I think it's fair to say he did not get back into the test side on performance and that he has to prove that he belongs there. To me, overstating his achievements and picking and choosing amongst his stats does not change that.

  • hyclass on August 31, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    With due respect @John Biddle,I disagree.Three months after Hughes hit 86* from 75 balls, to defeat NZ,Australia were bowled out and defeated in a Test match by a low rated Pakistan for 88. A number of articles identify Nielsen making significant changes to his game and technique before the Lions game in 09.Particularly damaging were attempts to remove his back foot trigger movement to leg,which is equivalent to Pontings forward press.This stopped his weight transfer into shots,leaving him out of position and unbalancing his game.His back foot technique and drive were also tampered with.It left him a sitting duck.A number of articles allude to it,including one by DeCosta,his and Clarkes long time mentor.An observant person would ask how a batsman with 1637 runs in 10 games on 3 continents,8 centuries,2 against a far better SA attack,before the Ashes,would suddenly struggle against a modest Harmison.Watch Hughes 115 & 160 v SA Youtube.Since dumping Nielsens changes,his game has returned

  • ygkd on August 31, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Have to diseagree with onlinegamer55's assertion that Geoff Marsh would struggle as a club player today (well, he might but then he's 52 now). I don't see too many test attacks as good today as the ones Marsh senior routinely faced. Shaun Marsh, however, appears less resilient and thus I'd have to agree that David Hussey is a bit overlooked.

  • on August 31, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    now its sun rising around tha galle.............its time 4 kangarooo soup

  • VivGilchrist on August 31, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    I don't feel sorry for Beer at all. He's got a baggygreen after a handful of FC games and a bowling av of 45. If you ask me, he's the luckiest man in the world. Just ask Jamie Siddons.

  • jonesy2 on August 31, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    cant believe marsh is left out! im furious. usie better score plenty of runs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hyclass on September 1, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    @youngkeepersdad...very tough call on Hughes who has opened with aplomb for over 100 innings,16 centuries and a 1st class average over 50.He is still only 22. It would be a hard critic indeed who blamed his technique for the brute of a delivery that took off from a length and took his wicket in the first innings. I cant imagine a technique that would have dealt with that ball. His 2nd innings LBW was also highly doubtful.There is no question in my mind that his technique is not at fault,nor his youth and i strongly believe,that given the support that has been absent since SA 09,that he will rise to great heights.He has the one ingredient that no technique can buy-character.Batting in SL has been a minefield for all batsmen on a pitch that warrants scathing criticism. Late on the 3rd day,the highest score by an opener is Paranavitanas 29 from over a hundred balls. While i understand your reasoning, i disagree with your conclusions.

  • ygkd on September 1, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    The thing I'd say about Phil Hughes is that youth can succeed initially, but then they need the game to go on (or more likely to come back after subsequently failing). Doing it your own way is fine, but you need a core technique to fall back on. I'm not sure Hughes' core technique is that of an opener. And he's certainly not the one to partner Watson at the top of the order, because Watson's core technique is not exactly that of an opener either. Dare I say it, Katich fitted the bill better. Hughes' spot seems more like No 6. That's not to say they won't make runs together, but can such a partnership be reliable enough? The SL bowlers found a good line and length to Hughes and I wasn't surprised when his wicket fell. I still say that Australia is not teeming with quality openers at present.

  • on August 31, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Aussies are playing statistics when it comes to spinning option. Greater numbers you try higher the probability that you discover a good option. Trouble really is that it does not work in cricket or any team sport. England were at the poorest best when they kept changing their teams and fielding duds and no hopers. If anything needs chopping and changing, its the selectors which happily board is doing.

  • hyclass on August 31, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Again,@John Biddle, lets agree to disagree...I dont see pointing out 16 centuries in just over a hundred innings at over 50 as cherry picking...I dont consider 633 runs with 3 centuries in his last 4 first class games at an average of 90 and a List A 138 for Australia A at last start, as him being gifted his place...these are his most recent results and stand up in all company...His career achievements are a matter of public record and are there as a rebuttal to unwarranted vitriol, that addresses the effects with sagacity and the cause with myopic indolence ...the 1637 runs in 10 games serve as a juxtapoint for what immediately followed them and why it was worthy of observation,given the extreme disparity...ive identified what is in the public forum with regard to his lapsed form and to whom accountability should be assigned...how others choose to view that information is outside my sphere of influence.

  • on August 31, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Hyclass - you'll have to forgive my inability to see any valid comparison between chasing a small total on what had throughout the match been a good batting track against a pretty friendly NZ attack with batting first on a raging greentop in England against a Pakistan attack as strong as any in the world in those conditions. While I sincerely hope Hughes can make the success of test cricket he looked like he would in his first series I think it's fair to say he did not get back into the test side on performance and that he has to prove that he belongs there. To me, overstating his achievements and picking and choosing amongst his stats does not change that.

  • hyclass on August 31, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    With due respect @John Biddle,I disagree.Three months after Hughes hit 86* from 75 balls, to defeat NZ,Australia were bowled out and defeated in a Test match by a low rated Pakistan for 88. A number of articles identify Nielsen making significant changes to his game and technique before the Lions game in 09.Particularly damaging were attempts to remove his back foot trigger movement to leg,which is equivalent to Pontings forward press.This stopped his weight transfer into shots,leaving him out of position and unbalancing his game.His back foot technique and drive were also tampered with.It left him a sitting duck.A number of articles allude to it,including one by DeCosta,his and Clarkes long time mentor.An observant person would ask how a batsman with 1637 runs in 10 games on 3 continents,8 centuries,2 against a far better SA attack,before the Ashes,would suddenly struggle against a modest Harmison.Watch Hughes 115 & 160 v SA Youtube.Since dumping Nielsens changes,his game has returned

  • ygkd on August 31, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Have to diseagree with onlinegamer55's assertion that Geoff Marsh would struggle as a club player today (well, he might but then he's 52 now). I don't see too many test attacks as good today as the ones Marsh senior routinely faced. Shaun Marsh, however, appears less resilient and thus I'd have to agree that David Hussey is a bit overlooked.

  • on August 31, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    now its sun rising around tha galle.............its time 4 kangarooo soup

  • VivGilchrist on August 31, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    I don't feel sorry for Beer at all. He's got a baggygreen after a handful of FC games and a bowling av of 45. If you ask me, he's the luckiest man in the world. Just ask Jamie Siddons.

  • jonesy2 on August 31, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    cant believe marsh is left out! im furious. usie better score plenty of runs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on August 31, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    hyclass - Hughes has won 2 tests off his own bat? One, for sure. You count dinging a second innings 86 chasing down just over 100 in a 10 wicket win with plenty of time in hand as winning a test of your own bat? I guess Katich's 79, Clarke's 168 and North's 112 in the first innings were actually the junk runs, and Bollinger's first innings 5-28 and Harris' second innings 4-77 were all gimmes.

    In 7 tests since his stellar debut series against SA Hughes has had 12 innings, 1 not out, 297 runs, that one (arguably low pressure) 50 and an average of 27. He's made 3 thirties and a couple of twenties in that time so he's made some starts and not been a completely abject failure, but at this stage of his career for mine he still has it all to prove. Let's hope he can.

  • on August 31, 2011, 2:26 GMT

    Me too living just about 3,4 km away from the Galle ground.It's just a drizzle now.it will be a delay start today.

  • thebarmyarmy on August 31, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    Oh dear. Get ready for a hiding Aussies :)

  • on August 31, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    RAIN WILL RUIN THE GAME TODAY.....IT HAS RAINED THROUGHOUT THE DAWN TODAY....(I am living 4K away from that ground)

  • PeteB on August 31, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    I'm really happy for Lyon and wish him all the best. Kudos to Darren Berry (who should be the national coach) for giving him his inital chance. But just about everyone knows that Hauritz should be the spinner.

  • Phat-Boy on August 31, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    Online gamer, Siddle's 'Mountain' of wickets was 14 @ 34, 11 of which came in two innings.

  • redneck on August 31, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    @hyclass mate the argus review came out after the squad was selected. so they can only work with what is selected and both beer and lyon picked up 2 wickets in the warm up match. how is that outbowled?

  • RandyOZ on August 31, 2011, 0:40 GMT

    @Adam Gray, do you not follow shield cricket? Hughes' record is so far ahead of Marsh it isn't funny. The fact that Marsh isn't in the team is testament to the new selectors picking on form and results not media hype. It's really good to see I am not the only one who is happy with this side. Back to #1 boys!

  • RandyOZ on August 31, 2011, 0:19 GMT

    I am very happy with this squad. If O'Keefe was there instead of Lyon it would be perfect, but I am glad that Lyon made it in over Beer! Come on Aussies!!!!

  • bobagorof on August 31, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    @hyclass - Beer getting 2 lower order wickets in the first innings of the tour match, and none in the second, while Lyon had one lower order wicket (1st inn) and one upper order wicket (2nd inn), probably tipped the balance in Lyon's favour. With Copeland also in the side to lend some control, Clarke presumably thinks he can afford his spinner to be a little more attacking. Totally agree with you re: Khawaja vs Marsh though - pick the centurion over the sub-15 score in a shoot-out every time!

  • on August 31, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    They want this guy lyon to be an aggressive spinner BUT can he bowl defensive as well ?Aussies do no want another Krazja

  • Jed23 on August 31, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    @balldinho. You don't know what you're talking about dude how about you give it a rest. I'm excited about this squad. Phil Hughes is gonna own, besides everyone knows you gotta get dropped when your young to avoid complacency. Just ask Pup and Damien Martyn and a dozen or so others from recent times. I like the selection of Lyon, we can do better than selecting defensive spinners in test cricket, hopefully he comes through.

  • hyclass on August 31, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    LOL...Hughes is 22....a Bradman medallist, a Shield player of the year, A Steve Waugh medallist, has centuries in 2 shield finals, Holds 3 all time Test run scoring records for his debut series in SA...has 2 centuries in one Test...633 1st class runs at 90 in his last 7 innings with 3 centuries...16 centuries from just over a hundred innings...has won at 2 tests of his ten from his own bat...averages nearly 40 at test level which is still higher than anything from guys like Marsh...has a Hayden like S/R of close to 60...and hes only 22...good look with your points @Balldinho

  • MinusZero on August 31, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    @zico123. I'm with you Khawaja should be number 3. Ponting was actually past his prime 4 years ago instead of 2. He has only averaged better than 40 in a calendar year once in the last 4 years.

  • bobagorof on August 30, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    I feel a bit sorry for Beer - dropped after one match - but he's still a chance during the series and at the very least he can say he actually played a Test, which many other cricketer's can't. Hope Lyon goes well (Go the Canberra boy!). I'd like to see him develop into a world-class performer. We'll see how he goes with support from his captain. Will be interesting to see the competition for the spinner's spot when Hauritz is fit and Okeefe is finally noticed. The rest of the team looks as good as can be from the touring squad. I still don't know why Marsh is there - his FC record doesn't justify selection and his ODI series was poor. Cheering that Copeland has made the team - looking forward to the side moving away from the obsession with extreme fast bowling and getting some skill in there instead.

  • Balldinho on August 30, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    Phil Hughes AGAIN!??!! Get rid of the guy, his time has come and gone... AGAIN!

  • hyclass on August 30, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    So much for the Argus Review theme of rewarding performance,being implemented.There was speculation about Khawaja,despite him being the incumbent,his wonderful performance in the tour match and Marshes dismal failure. There was speculation about Beer and Lyon, despite Beer being the incumbent and outbowling Lyon in the tour match. I see weve returned to the Hilditch method of paper,rock,scissors for selection.

  • onlinegamer55 on August 30, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Haddin was one of Australia's best batsmen in the Ashes series. It is a curious fact that people have completely forgotten the Ashes. This is very bad for some cricketers and good for others. It's good for Hughes because he failed miserably in the Ashes and people have forgotten about this but it's bad for Mike Hussey, Peter Siddle and Brad Haddin who were amazing in the Ashes. Siddle took mountains of wickets and Hussey was amazing but their performances are forgotten. We shouldn't have test series so far apart.

  • onlinegamer55 on August 30, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    Marsh had his taste of being with the Australian camp but his test (nonexistent) "career" is over. Bye bye Marshy! He'll be struggling for his place in the WA side. And to whoever said that "the selectors don't like Marsh" what are you on about? Marsh averages more than 20 runs less than David Hussey and David Hussey is still not being picked. The selectors clearly FAVOR Marsh just to be considering him for selection in this manner. He's far luckier than most Australian cricketers I know. And all because his father is Geoff Marsh was an opener for Australia. Geoff Marsh, frankly speaking, would not be good enough to play club cricket in this era.

  • onlinegamer55 on August 30, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    Phillip Hughes has more runs in his last 10 first class appearances than any batsmen in Australian cricket. He is in form and should be picked. If he is making runs, who cares whether he bats with his eyes closed and his hands tied behind his back? Technique is so overrated. If Hughes' technique is really that bad, then that all the more says what an outstanding player he is: it takes an outstanding player to make runs with a bad technique.

  • sam_laker on August 30, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    not sure whether Ryan Harris is the right man for sub continent wickets

  • on August 30, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    Come on guys! All those calling for Hauritz in the side, have you forgotten he's still recovering from the dislocated arm he picked up in the CB series??This is the best Aus could have picked from the touring party...

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on August 30, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    Good luck to the debutants. Hopefully they'll be given all 3 Tests and a chance. Well ....its a start as a selection. Khawaja was always a certainty and the move should to be let him come in at 6 and look to move him up the order as time goes by. If Marsh is good enough he'll get a chance ...personally i dont think Hussey will last til the India series. Cant believe how many people seem unaware that Hauritz is injured .... he should be picked if he wasnt while the other spinners gain experience. Actually feel sorry for Beer (though i dont rate him at all) ...was picked as no.1 spinner and hasnt even made it to the First Test. Also i hear the 'Spinners since Warne Society' have announced that their annual meeting has been moved from the Sydney Opera House to the SCG due to the need for extra capacity.

  • Mossop1313 on August 30, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Wow - Copeland and Lyon - who'da thunk it? I think its the best squad out of this touring party at the moment. Khawaja is definitely the right call - anyone who saw him bat in his 1st test could see the out and out class that he possesses. He has a far superior first-class record to Marsh, and is a Test player for the long haul. Hauritz is our best spin option by far at the moment, though there are lots of wraps for Lyon's potential. I hope he (Hauritz) is free and fit for the summer. With Hauritz out, there is no doubt in my mind that Steve O'Keefe should have been in the party way ahead of Beer and hence probably playing this Test - he has the best fc record of any spinner in the country at the moment. Not sure what he has done to offend the selectors. Great to see Copeland get a guernsey - how some of his NSW team-mates got a go a head of him is beyond me - I am assuming that someone finally remembered Glenn McGrath (ooh-aah) and that quicker is not necessarily better.

  • Biggus on August 30, 2011, 22:14 GMT

    Copeland's is an excellent selection, and pretty well a forced one if you're going to take in MJ and Harris, with all the uncertainty that entails, and I'm glad to see Khawaja get a spot as well. All in all it's a sensible team given what we have on hand. This series has been a long time coming after a forgettable summer (if that were only true) and I really haven't a clue which way it will go. Wonderful....Test Cricket.....Just love it.

  • on August 30, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    Looking through this side you can't help but feel that there's a lot that could go wrong. However this is exactly the team i picked a couple of days ago and i think it's got plenty of talent. Michael Clarke would appear to have a lot of nous about him, i think he'll be our best captain in a long time. Cross your fingers for a big opening stand from Watto and Hushesy and hopefully the rest will take care of it itself. Also got my fingers crossed for Ryan Harris, hope he holds up!

  • straight_drive4 on August 30, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    For a change Australia have picked their best possible side! I am looking forward to this team doing well. And whats even better is they picked the best side based on common sense! They didn't just close their eyes and pick it out of a hat. All the reasons Clarke gave are the same reasons that have all been given on the forums. That tells me it's not going to be a new team in a weeks time, this excites me!

  • MinusZero on August 30, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    The thing is, how many chances will they get? Two or three like last year, or will they get an extended run.

  • landl47 on August 30, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    Congratulations to Australia for looking forward and picking a team which has a chance to develop as a unit. I think they might struggle a bit against an experienced batting side like Sri Lanka, but there's only one way to get experience and that's to play games. Picking the guys who have looked good on the tour so far is also a very sensible approach. I don't think Aus has the talent at the moment to be a top side, but Clarke seems to be making all the right moves and I'm sure they'll be competitive. I'm looking forward to a good series.

  • on August 30, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    Win, lose or draw this is the best team Australia can put on the paddock. Let them settle and some champions will emerge.

  • wibblewibble on August 30, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    @Deepakrio Ravikannan - in Australia's last Test series, Ashes 2010-11, Haddin scored 360 runs at an average of 45, with a high score of 136, putting him third on the Aussie averages table. He's tenacious, hard and doesn't throw his wicket away. Miles better than Paine.

  • dsig3 on August 30, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    People who rate Marsh have been watching too much pyjama cricket. The guy has an absolutely mediocre first class record and has been around for a long time. People watch him play limited overs and play some nice shots and think he should be playing test matches. He does not have the concentration of a test match player to make big hundreds. This is a good team, its not going to get us to No.1 anytime soon but its the best we have. Dont care too much about the spinner, if we win it will be due to our fast bowling.

  • s.sreekant on August 30, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    why everyone is singing the same song of marsh marsh he and his pathetic footwork so susceptible to the ball moving away from he is one mediocre batsman and only useful for odis that too not so consistent. plzzz dont include marsh

  • on August 30, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    I am not surprised at all that khwaza is playing and marsh is out of XI. Australia have a history of wasting talent. Earlier they wasted Brad hodge, Martin love, almost wasted mike hussey and now Shaun Marsh. I am not surprised at all that khwaza is playing and marsh is out of XI. Australia have a history of wasting talent. Earlier they wasted Brad hodge, Martin love, almost wasted mike hussey and now Shaun Marsh.

  • on August 30, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Khawaja should have opened with Watson, and Marsh should have played at 6. I don't feel Khawaja is the kind of batsman that should play @ 6, and Hughes (every time i've seen him @ least) is far too attacking for the number opener's slot, and simply doesn't have the technique against quality fast bowling. Ok, SL don't have seamers of the highest order anyway, but I thought Aus were building towards a brighter future. Hughes @ 1 isn't it-even if he has a good series in this beautiful island.

  • 5wombats on August 30, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    @Anthony Kerr; a ha ha ! very good! Joking aside - the guy I feel for is Harris. I really rate him - you've got to have a massive heart to come back from the kind of injuries he's suffered. Sure - he's desperate to play test cricket for Australia, but look - on such unforgiving surfaces as SL this could be a career ending tour. Go Ryan Harris - prove me wrong! Interesting selections elsewhere!!! Looking at this side - strictly as a neutral - Sri Lanka look stronger. But it'll probably end up a draw. SL batting is pretty decent, but Aus shouldn't have any problems batting either. A draw.

  • on August 30, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    People are angry about leaving out Krejza...Wat about Haddin..Has he ever justified his position or place..Rip him out and put Paine or someone else and that will bolster the batting..As for spin,no way other than wat Doherty says,give spinners a longer space to develop themselves...Hauritz was decent for a bowler and he cud bat even...

  • on August 30, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    i hope they do well with this team....but possibilities of going wrong is more with an inexperienced spinner with pitches offering no help to seamers

  • Beertjie on August 30, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Agree with @Aussasinator about Khawaja at 3 or perhaps 4. It's best to alternate right-left handers in the order. Go show them Lyon - you don't need 12 wickets for 360. Half of that will do, if you can snare their big guns!

  • on August 30, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    It'll be interesting to see how Lyon gets on, for a player who has played a total of 5 First class games and averaged 45 to be asked to play an away test series seems like total madness. Either the selectors know something we don't or they have completely lost their minds.

  • Amit_4_Sachin on August 30, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    This is an insult. With his talent, Marsh would had made to the Indian line up. He's best batsman of the squad in sub-continent conditions & one of the best overall. I see someone pointing the fact that he's not exactly young, can he explain the presence of Ponting in the XI?

  • on August 30, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    The Aussies keep giving all these debuts to young lads who've barely ever played a first class game before, then dropping them when (surprise surprise) they get hit out of the park. The young lads lose confidece as a result and watch their careers grind to a halt.

    Can't they just be patient, pick someone boring but experienced like Hauritz for now, and allow their young spinners to mature naturally on the first class circuit? It would be a far more sensible policy, especially since they have enough fast bowling for now to win games with just a defensive, Ashley Giles-esque spinner.

  • zico123 on August 30, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Usman Khawaja is a good choice over Shaun Marsh, he should bat at 3, not old legged Ponting who has passed his prime 2 years back.

  • whoster on August 30, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    The Aussie selection policy mirrors England's in the 90's. What they need to do is identify the young players of the future and back them. I wish Nathan Lyon well, but with him being the 12th spinner to be tried since the retirement of Warne, is he going to be given another chance if he struggles on this tour? Hauritz did a pretty good job as spinner for Australia, then got ridiculously discarded on the eve of The Ashes. I know he got some punishment the series before that in India, but even Warnie had struggled over there at times. They need to tell guys like Lyon, Copeland and Khawaja - "We're going to back you. Don't worry if it doesn't come off straight away, play with freedom, and we'll keep picking you." England have learnt their lesson, and if we had the selection policy of ten years ago, the likes of Cook, Bell and Broad would be out of the side. When selectors show loyalty and belief in the players they pick, they'll reap the dividends.

  • montys_muse on August 30, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    will be good to have usie open with hughesy and watto playing at no.6 as a genuine allrounder....

  • ibbotsoni on August 30, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    why not hauritz? the guy can bowl.

  • unregisteredalien on August 30, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    It certainly ain't perfect but - shock horror! - I think this is the best team Oz could have fielded based on this touring party.

  • tomoffinland74 on August 30, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Nothing against Lyon but I really don't know what Hauritz has done to deserve omission from the Test side. I'm excited about Copeland and Kawaja though.

  • mengal123 on August 30, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    I think copeland would be very handy in the Sri Lanka, i will predict 2-0 for Australia. You the effect of IPL will sink Sri lanka. if you look at the figure Asif and AAmir bowled last series when they played there and asif played the series before would be very exciting to watch copeland. be aware sri lankan IPL greedy players that your days are numbered like indians suffered in England.

  • on August 30, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Phil Hughes is better than Marsh. Obviously. Before people got into his head about his technique he was brilliant. Everyone has forgotten the twin centuries against Dale Steyn, the best quick in the world. I also would like Khawaja to open but suggesting Hughes & Khawaja will score more tons than Watson is silly. Watson has performed as an opener. Who cares about hundreds when you are always getting runs. Consistency is the key. The other two are starting out but look like long term selections. Marsh is there for his ODI form. Like Copeland's selection. Agree that McDonald should be in the team. Good bowler, good bat. He was on fire at the start of the Shield season before getting hurt. Haven't seen Lyon bowl yet (have seen beer bowl unfortunately, Hauritz is a lot better). Would like Paine to get in soon too.

  • ravi_hari on August 30, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    A little risky in having too many youngsters. Look how India suffered in the absence of its more experienced batsmen in Windies and bowlers in England. I think Hughes, Khwaja, Copeland and Lyon in the same XI is a big gamble. I think they are playing into the hands of the Lankans. I still feel Marsh is the right choice for the sub-continent conditions. Katich should have been there as Hughes has not proved himself despite given many chances. This could well be his last chance. Hoping Copeland would perform is the only thing Aussies can do as in the tough conditions banking on Siddle who has just returned from injury is risky. A youngster will atleast give aggression to the attack. Aussies do not have a quality spinner. They did not handle Haurtiz well and that is costing them heavily. Hauritz should be their regular spinner as he has the experience and has performed well elsewhere except in India. Warne's shoes are too big to fill! All the best Clarke! Ravi Hari

  • Mary_786 on August 30, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    Great selections, Khawaja deserves his spot, he is the future number 3 for Australia, and Copeland bowls very similar to how Mcgrath used to bowl.

  • mautan on August 30, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    In cricket when a country goes into decline it seems they keep making all possible incorrect decisions..leaving Shaun Marsh out is another one. He is probably the most talented and proven of the younger guys for a long time...however they will make another Hussey out of him. Nothing against Usman but the side would be immensely stronger with Katich and Marsh in it. If Dravid, Sachin and Laxman can score runs at 38..why not Katich at 36? Somehow the Greg Chappel shadow will linger on till he is not around anymore. Krezja too is a test match bowler out and out and they play him in Odis....and get a rookie to bowl against Sanga and Jaya! Amazing! I hope Marsh is not the next Hodge...except selectors everybody likes him.

  • on August 30, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Very funny. Can you post the actual Australian bowling attack now please?

  • Aussasinator on August 30, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    Khwaja will be batting at No. 3 before this series is over !

  • AidanFX on August 30, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Can't believe selectors seem to have got this one right and even chosen my preferred team. Lyon - Younger player - better option than Beer who is older with no 1st class experience. Khawaja is much more supperior batsman to Marsh; can't believe people say silly things like Kw "lacks experience" - choose Marsh; it's not like he is 16, he is in his mid 20's; but it's about time our selectors pick younger players. Marsh is older, less of a career to begin with; what's more he is not a test qualit batsman. Copeland deserves a chance and he may well be despit being slower; quite an attacking bowler wicket wise. It also challenges Johnson to stop trying to be soemthing he is not an bowl quick and break fingers whilst he is at it.

  • Sachit1979 on August 30, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Draught in experienced spin attack is definitely going to hurt Aussies in this series. Even under rated sides like West Indies and Zimbabwe have better spin attack than Aussies these days.

  • Winsome on August 30, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    I'm happy with all of those choices, though I really feel for Beer. He's yet another spin cycle chuck out. We'll see how long Lyon lasts! I wish Khawaja was opening though, he and Hughes might make a good long term team and they may both score tons far more often than Watson will.

  • shamlaatu on August 30, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Khawaj in, great !!! With the kind of temperament and technique he has, I personally believe he should come at # 3.

  • on August 30, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    How Phil Hughes gets a game in front of Shaun Marsh is beyond me as an Australian cricket fan. Maybe he needs to move himself to Sydney and be contracted to NSW. Same goes for Tim Paine.

  • on August 30, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Mistake mistakes mistakes; Hughes Katich Watson Hussey Clarke Kawaja Haddin Johnson Hauritz Krezja Copeland

  • on August 30, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Playing to strenghts make sense..why take a spinner if he is no good. None of aussie spinners after warne has impressed

  • Okakaboka on August 30, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Yep....valid observations...I hope Copeland goes really well. However..it begs the question. If the team needs this sort of bowler.....and it does.....why the hell did the dropkick brigade (the selectors) get rid of Andrew McDonald??????

  • VivGilchrist on August 30, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Copeland stepping up to international cricket and looking ready for it is a testimony to picking a player on form over a period of time, rather than the relying on the gut feel of Hilditch or a passing comment from Shane Warne that we have been accustomed to.

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  • VivGilchrist on August 30, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Copeland stepping up to international cricket and looking ready for it is a testimony to picking a player on form over a period of time, rather than the relying on the gut feel of Hilditch or a passing comment from Shane Warne that we have been accustomed to.

  • Okakaboka on August 30, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Yep....valid observations...I hope Copeland goes really well. However..it begs the question. If the team needs this sort of bowler.....and it does.....why the hell did the dropkick brigade (the selectors) get rid of Andrew McDonald??????

  • on August 30, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Playing to strenghts make sense..why take a spinner if he is no good. None of aussie spinners after warne has impressed

  • on August 30, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Mistake mistakes mistakes; Hughes Katich Watson Hussey Clarke Kawaja Haddin Johnson Hauritz Krezja Copeland

  • on August 30, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    How Phil Hughes gets a game in front of Shaun Marsh is beyond me as an Australian cricket fan. Maybe he needs to move himself to Sydney and be contracted to NSW. Same goes for Tim Paine.

  • shamlaatu on August 30, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Khawaj in, great !!! With the kind of temperament and technique he has, I personally believe he should come at # 3.

  • Winsome on August 30, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    I'm happy with all of those choices, though I really feel for Beer. He's yet another spin cycle chuck out. We'll see how long Lyon lasts! I wish Khawaja was opening though, he and Hughes might make a good long term team and they may both score tons far more often than Watson will.

  • Sachit1979 on August 30, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Draught in experienced spin attack is definitely going to hurt Aussies in this series. Even under rated sides like West Indies and Zimbabwe have better spin attack than Aussies these days.

  • AidanFX on August 30, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Can't believe selectors seem to have got this one right and even chosen my preferred team. Lyon - Younger player - better option than Beer who is older with no 1st class experience. Khawaja is much more supperior batsman to Marsh; can't believe people say silly things like Kw "lacks experience" - choose Marsh; it's not like he is 16, he is in his mid 20's; but it's about time our selectors pick younger players. Marsh is older, less of a career to begin with; what's more he is not a test qualit batsman. Copeland deserves a chance and he may well be despit being slower; quite an attacking bowler wicket wise. It also challenges Johnson to stop trying to be soemthing he is not an bowl quick and break fingers whilst he is at it.

  • Aussasinator on August 30, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    Khwaja will be batting at No. 3 before this series is over !