Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd Test, Pallekele September 7, 2011

Sri Lanka search for Test match focus

44

Match facts

September 8-12, Pallekele
Start time 10:00 (04:30 GMT, 14:30 EST)

Big Picture

Australia surprised many people by outplaying Sri Lanka in their own conditions in Galle, even if the dusty pitch did mean the toss played a significant role in the outcome. Now, Michael Clarke can rack up his first series victory if the team backs up with another strong performance in Pallekele. It's nearly 18 months since the Australians have won a Test series, the last time being on their tour of New Zealand in March 2010. Much has changed for Clarke since then; on that trip, he was followed by tabloid reporters and TV cameras after his much-publicised break-up with Lara Bingle. In one sense, those days must seem a lifetime ago for Clarke, but he's also acutely aware that he hasn't made a Test century since that New Zealand series. But his second-innings 60 was key to Australia's victory in Galle, and he certainly outperformed his opposing captain, Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Dilshan was the prime culprit in Sri Lanka's top-order failure in the first Test. In the first innings he was caught slashing wildly in the second over and in the second innings he disregarded the difficult conditions and left an enormous gate between bat and pad, and was not surprisingly bowled by a ball that jagged back off the seam. It was not a sight that would have impressed one of Dilshan's captaincy predecessors, Arjuna Ranatunga, who dished out a stinging rebuke to the team in the wake of the defeat.

''I'm not really sure if [Sri Lanka] are focused enough to play the longer version," Ranatunga told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I am very disappointed with the commitment of most of the players, in particular I am really worried about a couple of the batsmen and their commitment to the longer version of the game. I think we look much better than Australia on paper, but they are more committed." Ranatunga went on to describe the non-selection of Ajantha Mendis in Galle as "unbelievable", although it seems likely Mendis will play in Pallekele.

Australia will make one change, with Ricky Ponting having flown home for the birth of his second child. That means a Test debut for Shaun Marsh, 28, who will become Australia's 422nd Test cricketer. His father, the opening batsman Geoff Marsh, is the owner of baggy green No. 333.

Also quite new to Test cricket is the venue itself. The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, built for the World Cup, is one of the most picturesque of Test venues, set in the rolling hills just outside Kandy. It's only previous Test was between Sri Lanka and West Indies in December, and it was so badly affected by rain that not even the first innings of the match could be completed.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Sri Lanka LDDLD
Australia WLLWL

In the spotlight

After his performance in Galle, one man will really be in the spotlight in this second Test: Tillakaratne Dilshan. The captain of Sri Lanka let his side down with his approach to batting, but he is a proven Test match performer. His challenge in Pallekele is not only to lead from the front with the bat, but to marshal his troops in the field in such a way as to keep the pressure on the Australian batsmen in conditions that shouldn't suit them.

Ryan Harris is the kind of bowler any captain would want in his team. He keeps going all day, finds movement in the air and off the pitch and most importantly, he takes bags of wickets. In the second innings in Galle, he picked up his second five-wicket haul in six Tests, in addition to the three five-fors he's managed in a 17-match ODI career. Harris nearly 32 and has a chronic knee problem, but for now he's one of the most important men in Australia's side.

Team news

Although it was Sri Lanka's batsmen who let them down in the first innings in Galle, it's in the bowling department that changes are most likely. The decision to leave out Mendis, whose varieties baffled some of the Australians in the one-day series, was a strange one, and he should get his opportunity this time. Suraj Randiv could be the man to make way, after he was comfortably outbowled by Rangana Herath in the first Test. And on the day before the Test, Chanaka Welegedara was struggling with a knee injury, which meant Shaminda Eranga was a chance to debut after his impressive efforts in the ODI series.

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), 2 Tharanga Paranavitana, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilan Samaraweera, 6 Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Suranga Lakmal, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Chanaka Welegedara / Shaminda Eranga.

Australia have already confirmed their starting line-up, with the only change being Marsh to replace Ponting at No.3. That means the minimum possible disruption to the batting line-up, with Usman Khawaja to stay at No.6, although as a top-order player for New South Wales he'd probably have enjoyed being promoted.

Australia 1 Shane Watson, 2 Phillip Hughes, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Usman Khawaja, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Ryan Harris, 10 Trent Copeland, 11 Nathan Lyon.

Pitch and conditions


After the pitch in Galle was reported to the ICC by the match referee, a more equitable surface is expected in Kandy. The grass will be shaved off, but more moisture is likely, meaning no clouds of dust on the first day, while the assistance for the spinners may not arrive until later in the game.

Stats and trivia

  • Shaun Marsh and his dad Geoff will become only the second father-son combination to play Test cricket for Australia, after Ned Gregory, who was part of the very first Test match in 1877, and his son Syd, who played the last of his Tests in 1912
  • Marsh's inclusion means Australia will have had five debutants in three Tests, stretching back to the Sydney Ashes Test. But it's not the first time that's happened recently: five baggy greens were handed out in the space of two Tests against South Africa in early 2009
  • Mahela Jayawardene has drawn level with Don Bradman on the list of most centuries in Test cricket, with 29.

Quotes

"To win the first Test at Galle in such difficult conditions was a wonderful achievement, but to win the second Test in Kandy will be a greater challenge. Over the past year or so we have performed well in the first Test of a series only to fall away in the second."
Michael Clarke

"In the last two days we've had good training sessions, everyone is ready to play their part in this match. I think we have the confidence [to bounce back], everyone is good mentally."
Tillakaratne Dilshan

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Felix1025 on September 8, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Mr. Dilshan, still you do not want to send Mathews at 5 or 6. Minimum at 6. May be Samaraweera will strike back. Prasanna J is the best wicket keeper in the world, but he played a six a side (not even 20/20) cricket today. But pls. keep Prasanna J as w/k and let him bat at 7. What a wasted opportunity for SL and Mathews. Mr. Dilshan, if you do not like to change your style, they at least play like 20/20, stay there for 5 overs, score 40-50 runs minimum and get out!!!! Again, left poor Eranga out...

  • on September 8, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    @ Yes, comment is a comment, sorry if I said it in a bad way. Anyway, I dont remember Sanga failed frequently except just concluded England tour. Even there, he scored a century in 3rd match and probable saved the match for Sri Lanka. But, Mahela failed there very badly. Then, why dont you say Mahela should be dropped? Its just bacause he scored a century in 1st Test at Galle? Is your memory limited to 1 or 2 matches? Luckily you are not a selector !

  • veerakannadiga on September 8, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Australia is defnitely going to win the series. They are on their way to become the No.1 team, where they rightfully belong. As far as SL is concerned, guys rebuilding is a tough process. You just can't replace Murali, Vaas & Jayasurya overnight.As of now, India and SL are sailing in the same boat. England beat us real bad.This trashing at the hands of Aussies, would be a very good lesson/learning experience to the young SL team.By the way guyz, why is Kulasekar not playing? As a neutral, I would just like to experience good Test Cricket. Good luck to both the teams.

  • johnathonjosephs on September 8, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Lanka will fail in Test Cricket unless a quality spin bowler and fast bowler steps up. Over the years, we had Vaas and Murali who were exceptional (Murali being the greatest bowler in history). When Vaas was done, Malinga stepped up and even though initially he wasn't that great, he improved and now is one of the most lethal bowlers out there (along with Dale Steyn and Brett Lee). However, early this year Sri Lanka got a double blow. Malinga and Murali retires from Test Cricket. This put Sri Lanka in a huge pothole that they are still currently trying to get out of. Lakmal looks to be a good find, but Welegedera lacks discipline/talent and as for the spinners, well Mendis has not been great recently and Herath is 33 years old. Hopefully this new guy Prassana will impress on debut. First class record and list A average is under 20!!!

  • deadzone64 on September 8, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    Usman Khawaja deserves to be pushed up the order, especially if Hughes continues to wobble the way he is at the moment...

  • Kadmin on September 8, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    I think SL should change their batting line-up and bring lahiru in for tharanga. For me the batting line up - lahiru, dilshan, sanga, mahiya, angelo, samaraweera, jayawar and rest. Hope selectors can see what sort of damage they are doing by sending angelo later in the order. Not fair for him. DILSHAN please play some smart cricket.

  • WaldermaltCricketer on September 8, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    Sri Lanka are spending a very difficult time in CRICKET after the WC. This will be another tough match for them. Aussies are far better than SL even in SL. Tharanga Paranawithana should be removed & Thirimanna must be given a chance in this match. Ajantha Mendis should play instead of Randiv. Anyway this is going to be a match SL have 25% chance to win while Aussies have 75% chance of winning where only the talents & skills of the players are concerned.

  • bubbageil on September 8, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    Sri Lanka lost the first test because they outsmarted themselves. Australia are currently struggling with their batting but they're not struggling with their bowling. They have a plethora of bowlers in the side, and ready to come into the side.

  • Rastawookie on September 8, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    @AKS286. Beer is a very talented bowler, but he is a more defensive style of bowler than Lyon. Australia are playing only one spinner, otherwise Beer would be in. Voges and Jaques are both well over 30, and neither of them are on the tour, nor have played test cricket recently. It would be a big backwards step to replace Khawaja with Voges. For the first time in a long time I'm happy with what the selectors have done for the first two tests... although in saying that, calling up David Warner as a back-up seems strange when other players have made more of a claim for that spot (Callum Ferguson for example)

  • Rooboy on September 8, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    Good point Marcio, ranatunga's comments cannot really be sustained by a realistic analysis of the sides on paper, which is surprising cos he is usually so balanced and fair when it comes to commenting about Australia *lol*. Joshua Johnson - Australia scored significantly more in their second innings than SL did in their first so there was probably a bit more to the result than the luck of the toss. But yeah I know how it is with some people, Aus lose and the other team was way better, Aus win and they're lucky. Australia have been mighty 'lucky' against SL over the years, let's hope it continues.

  • Felix1025 on September 8, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Mr. Dilshan, still you do not want to send Mathews at 5 or 6. Minimum at 6. May be Samaraweera will strike back. Prasanna J is the best wicket keeper in the world, but he played a six a side (not even 20/20) cricket today. But pls. keep Prasanna J as w/k and let him bat at 7. What a wasted opportunity for SL and Mathews. Mr. Dilshan, if you do not like to change your style, they at least play like 20/20, stay there for 5 overs, score 40-50 runs minimum and get out!!!! Again, left poor Eranga out...

  • on September 8, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    @ Yes, comment is a comment, sorry if I said it in a bad way. Anyway, I dont remember Sanga failed frequently except just concluded England tour. Even there, he scored a century in 3rd match and probable saved the match for Sri Lanka. But, Mahela failed there very badly. Then, why dont you say Mahela should be dropped? Its just bacause he scored a century in 1st Test at Galle? Is your memory limited to 1 or 2 matches? Luckily you are not a selector !

  • veerakannadiga on September 8, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Australia is defnitely going to win the series. They are on their way to become the No.1 team, where they rightfully belong. As far as SL is concerned, guys rebuilding is a tough process. You just can't replace Murali, Vaas & Jayasurya overnight.As of now, India and SL are sailing in the same boat. England beat us real bad.This trashing at the hands of Aussies, would be a very good lesson/learning experience to the young SL team.By the way guyz, why is Kulasekar not playing? As a neutral, I would just like to experience good Test Cricket. Good luck to both the teams.

  • johnathonjosephs on September 8, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Lanka will fail in Test Cricket unless a quality spin bowler and fast bowler steps up. Over the years, we had Vaas and Murali who were exceptional (Murali being the greatest bowler in history). When Vaas was done, Malinga stepped up and even though initially he wasn't that great, he improved and now is one of the most lethal bowlers out there (along with Dale Steyn and Brett Lee). However, early this year Sri Lanka got a double blow. Malinga and Murali retires from Test Cricket. This put Sri Lanka in a huge pothole that they are still currently trying to get out of. Lakmal looks to be a good find, but Welegedera lacks discipline/talent and as for the spinners, well Mendis has not been great recently and Herath is 33 years old. Hopefully this new guy Prassana will impress on debut. First class record and list A average is under 20!!!

  • deadzone64 on September 8, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    Usman Khawaja deserves to be pushed up the order, especially if Hughes continues to wobble the way he is at the moment...

  • Kadmin on September 8, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    I think SL should change their batting line-up and bring lahiru in for tharanga. For me the batting line up - lahiru, dilshan, sanga, mahiya, angelo, samaraweera, jayawar and rest. Hope selectors can see what sort of damage they are doing by sending angelo later in the order. Not fair for him. DILSHAN please play some smart cricket.

  • WaldermaltCricketer on September 8, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    Sri Lanka are spending a very difficult time in CRICKET after the WC. This will be another tough match for them. Aussies are far better than SL even in SL. Tharanga Paranawithana should be removed & Thirimanna must be given a chance in this match. Ajantha Mendis should play instead of Randiv. Anyway this is going to be a match SL have 25% chance to win while Aussies have 75% chance of winning where only the talents & skills of the players are concerned.

  • bubbageil on September 8, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    Sri Lanka lost the first test because they outsmarted themselves. Australia are currently struggling with their batting but they're not struggling with their bowling. They have a plethora of bowlers in the side, and ready to come into the side.

  • Rastawookie on September 8, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    @AKS286. Beer is a very talented bowler, but he is a more defensive style of bowler than Lyon. Australia are playing only one spinner, otherwise Beer would be in. Voges and Jaques are both well over 30, and neither of them are on the tour, nor have played test cricket recently. It would be a big backwards step to replace Khawaja with Voges. For the first time in a long time I'm happy with what the selectors have done for the first two tests... although in saying that, calling up David Warner as a back-up seems strange when other players have made more of a claim for that spot (Callum Ferguson for example)

  • Rooboy on September 8, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    Good point Marcio, ranatunga's comments cannot really be sustained by a realistic analysis of the sides on paper, which is surprising cos he is usually so balanced and fair when it comes to commenting about Australia *lol*. Joshua Johnson - Australia scored significantly more in their second innings than SL did in their first so there was probably a bit more to the result than the luck of the toss. But yeah I know how it is with some people, Aus lose and the other team was way better, Aus win and they're lucky. Australia have been mighty 'lucky' against SL over the years, let's hope it continues.

  • on September 8, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    We need Dinesh Chandimal as the wicket keeper.

  • hyclass on September 8, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    @stormy16...im sure that those of us who wish Prasanna to be promoted,are well aware that hes not in the squad for this Test. He was part of the original Test squad for the series though and clearly in calculations. As Eranga has been promoted from that original squad, its not unreasonable to suggest that Prasanna might also be promoted,as an attacking move. He was recalled from England on the back of an excellent tour. He had an immediate impact against Australia. He is a wrist spinner on a wicket which is slated to have more pace and bounce. His career record in all forms of the game below international level and over an extended period, is one of the finest on the planet. At some point, the kind of theorising that has dominated and decimated Australian cricket for the last 4 years and is now losing fashion, must give way to the hard edged professionalism of selecting,without prejudice,only on performance. On that basis,Prasanna would be the first chosen.

  • nalincricket on September 7, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    Dilshan has to develop his Leadership qualities. Rather saying i will not change my batting style as i have been doing over the years. even though he is not going to change he should not make a loud comment on its its gives the opponents to target easily as they can pre plan. he has to understand the different between test and T20 match. also i cant understand why he didnt give a try with other part time spin bowlers , like Thilan and even Paranavithana.on a such turning wicket.where they have helped in some contests.

  • Lord.emsworth on September 7, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    Yorkslanka you invited thoughts and here are mine. No player should be treated like a 'sacred cow'. Even 'Master class' Tendulkar was dropped from the Test & ODI teams in 2007. Sanga has been failing in the first innings all too often now (despite his class) and should be dropped or sent down the order. It wont hurt him to be be dropped now and then. Perhaps thats what he needs to recharge his batteries and strengthen his resolve at the VIP one drop position. This Oz series is going like the England one. SL have just this one chance in the 2nd test to stop the slide. SL have the same batters as in the England tour and its time to be bold and re-build

  • WTEH on September 7, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    Cannot really understand why SL always go for Randiv instead of Mendis. Everyone would thought they learnt a lesson in the world cup. They kept Randiv for the England series and now even at Galle. Cannot see anything special in Randiv other than friendly medium pace turn. too predictable for batsmen. It was just like, in the early days they went for Kulasekara instead of Malinga. Hope they'd learn now and put Mendis or Prasanna.

  • Lord.emsworth on September 7, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    Janaka Kumara...Yes great averages are easy to come by when playing home Tests, elsewhere in the S-cont, or scoring when a series is ALREADY lost (As Sanga did in England) and there is nothing to play for. At first drop Sangakarra has failed very often in the very important first innings and starts an automatic panicking slide. Its demoralizing 4 the rest who come after him. ICC rankings do not always reflect the true state of affairs. And oh! comments are neither genuine or un-genuine. A comment is a comment!

  • stormy16 on September 7, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    Not sure why some of you are calling for Prasanna - he is not in the squad and Vaas - hey why dont we recall Sana! The issue is we need to get runs on the board and they must come from the existing batting line up. I am not sure about Mendis suddenly running through the Aus batting line up but its signs of desperation. I think Ranatunge has a point - it cannot be a talent or skills issue when you have 3 guys averaging over 50 and your playing at home against a relatively inexperienced attack, its a mental and/or committment issue. What ever it is SL need to be stand up be counted in this test.

  • AKS286 on September 7, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    why not MICHAEL BEER in the team? beer is the future of Oz bowling. adam voges in place of usman khawaja & jaques in place of marsh.

  • on September 7, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    It's a joy to see Mahela mentioned in the same sentence with the great Don.

  • yorkslanka on September 7, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    sanga will come good and should not be dropped, form is temporary but class is permanent and anyone who thinks that sanga is not class needs their head examined...I would like to see Eranga get his debut as I think he bowled well here in England for teh a team and also for the full team in the odi's...My team and batting order would be : 1. dilshan 2 paravitana 3. mahela 4. sanga 5. chandimal 6. mathews 7. jeevan mendis 8. randhiv 9. kulasekara 10. eranga 11.ajantha mendis

    this gives three spinners and three medium quicks and batting down to nine...thoughts???

  • on September 7, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    I have finally had it with you armchair critics. I now understand that none of you have a clue what you are talking about. It makes me sick.

  • on September 7, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    I THINK OUR- SRI LAKA TEAM CAN BEAT NEXT 2ND TEST. REISON SPIN DOCTOR AJANTHA MENDIS PLAYING.....................

  • on September 7, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    I have no regrets to write that Lord.emsworth likes to see Sri Lankan cricket goes down very quickly that why he has non other than Sangakkara to be dropped. He is the best batsman they have (Mahela too is a great). Just go to ICC ranking and you will see he is the 2nd in the world (NOT IN SL TEAM). Please be genuine with your comments.

  • on September 7, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    What abt Shaminda Eranga.he's got the pace and accuracy.will be a good option for pallekale pitch.

  • Marcio on September 7, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    So Ranatunga says SL look better on paper. Unfortunately he needs to get a bigger piece of paper. I mean, the best SL bowler from the 1st test has an average of 36 runs a wicket, with others in the 40s and 50s. AUS have 4 bowlers with averages in the 20s. Ranatunga needs to open his eyes a little wider and take a reality check.

  • JimDavis on September 7, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    "five baggy greens were handed out in the space of two Tests against South Africa in early 2009" and didn't Australia win those matches as well?

  • JimDavis on September 7, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Brydon - you might want to tone down the hyperbole and change your description of Ryan Harris from he keeps going all day to something like He will give you everything until his knee plays up. It's very hard for someone with a chronic knee injury to be able to keep going all day, even if they wanted to.

  • Mary_786 on September 7, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    How does marsh get in the team with an average of 37

  • on September 7, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    What is all this talk about Sri Lanka being a better team?!!? They have never beaten us in a series and never will. They haven't won many series against any team except Banga. I still see them as being an associate team with a great spinner (now gone) when it comes to the longer format. SL can't even beat us on a dust bowl with 5 spinners in the team. You either doctor the pitch to win the first test in 2 days and then serve up a batters paradise to draw the rest and make you look good knocking up 1000 runs an innings. I guess that has back fired now...

  • on September 7, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    SL bowling was ok, it was their batting that let them down, they rain didn't save them this timeas it did twice in England. If it does rain SL best hope is to draw this test and win the last test to draw the series. The groudsmen at Galle thought it would be smart to make a difficult pitch just to get the Aussies out early and let SL pile on the runs, but that backfired spectacularly as their own team struggled in both innings. Never trust the groundsmen, always make a pitch for competitive cricket.

  • on September 7, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    For Dilshan and his men overconfidence will not be sufficient good hard work over five days is important on through that we could come back into this series even though most things are in our favor

  • Lord.emsworth on September 7, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Ranatunge is dead right although he should also analyze WHY SL cannot play the longer game anymore. Ratnayake the coach is a stop gap solution.SL have to look for a more inspired coach to get the test team on track again. As for the many jabs aimed at Dilshan's batting dont forget that just a few months ago he scored 194 at Lords against the number one Test team. Purists may not like him, they even despair of Chris Gayle & Shewag but when they get it right....Oh boy!. SL should also be bold and drop Sangakarra and Samaraweera. In with Rajapakse and Chandimal and while at it why not send a telegram to Vaas....

  • WPDDESILVA on September 7, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    Team spirit. That's what you want and SL lacks it. No one seems to have the desire to win. They just play for the pay cheque!

  • on September 7, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Sri Lankans are much better skilled, Australians eventhough have lesser skills they use their heads better - they play as one unit, the body language is really strong, already the commnets after the 1st test shows that they intend stinging the SL's. Can SL stand up for its true potential in this match?

  • hyclass on September 7, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Id like to see Eranga and Prasanna in the lineup together. Herath did well, but if this pitch is quicker with more bounce,the wrist spinner could be a big wicket taker. Lakmal, Mendis, Eranga and Prasanna look an inexperienced, but quality attack. Theres always Dilshan and Samaraweera to bowl finger spin. SL need to bowl Australia out twice on a good wicket to have any chance of winning this series and they should ONLY be playing to win the series. Herath feels like he could easily be justified, but is a safe,rather than attacking option. Erangas recent numbers look good and i think he will really test Australia. I hope Dilshan continues to play his own game,but do it better. I think Australias batting lineup is more unsettled than it has been at any time for the last 4 years. This tour is the last hurrah of the previous administration,with Chappell and Nielsen still involved and bears all the uncertainty that the Argus Review characterised.Go Australia.Go Hughesy.Good luck Marsh.

  • Cricketmaniac123 on September 7, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    It has to be said Australia is not as great as it used to be, I just wonder why is Sri Lanka battling like this with Dislshan, Sangakkara, Mahele in thier team they should give more of a fight than this

  • on September 7, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Australia were lucky first time around. The toss helped them a great deal. I doubt Sri Lanka will lose this next test. Even though Australia did win it, judging by Shane Watson's arrogant comments after the match, Australia are going to enter this second match with an air of complacency which will be their downfall.

  • on September 7, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    SL should win this test match. the major concern in SL is batting. nobody in SL team to go after bowlers except dilshan & mathives. sanga will be failed again if he not going to attack aussie bowlers. SL should include S.Prasanna instead of A.mendis. prasanna has twice out hussey cheaply in ODIs'. Thirimanne is my opener with dilshan.SL should pressurize the oppositions every-time if they need to win rest of the matches.

  • Mutukisna on September 7, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Good move dropping Randiv. He bowled so badly in the first test. Is there a way of bringing in Seekuge Prasanna, in addition to Ajantha Mendis? Although I would like both to be selected, I would go for Prasanna if there is room for only of them. Also Prasanna is a much better fielder.

  • ikmal--syd on September 7, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    i agree with ranatunga that the passion and commitment is not there. if u think about it over the last 2 years, (apart from world cup) sri lanka only play excellent in patches of a whole match, or are good on certain days, while disgraceful on others. hopefully eranga plays as he has raw pace an ability to get quality batsman out. mendis does not have this ability. Sl for the Win

  • Marcio on September 7, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    So the article says AUS haven't won a test series for 18 months. What an appalling statistic. Unless of course they have only played two series during that time (yet another beat up). OK, about the 2nd test. Should be an interesting game. A lot of unknowns here, so pretty hard to pick. Ricky Ponting will be missed, esp. for his ability to play and dominate spin. Still, I just think that AUS are on a roll here. They won the one day series comfortably (resting key players for the last game), as well as the first test. SL seems to be lacking confidence, and lose self-belief when things get tough; whereas I think AUS are mentally tougher all-round. It will be interesting to see what SL do to unsettle Copeland. Although he didn't get many wockets, Copeland was a key reason AUS was able to dominate the first game. Let's hope for a good test!

  • on September 7, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Give the fact that Khawaja has spent most of his time in number three, why is the spot given to Marsh? Marsh would be a better floater.

  • on September 7, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    Lets hope the Sri Lankans put the 'Test' caps on and take the field tomorrow..full credit to the aussies for capitalizing on the opportunities in Galle and I hope as a SL fan that our boys will give a tougher fight!! Congratz to Mahela on equalizing with the great bradman statistically atleast .

  • on September 7, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    hope SL will bounce back with some young talents!!

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  • on September 7, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    hope SL will bounce back with some young talents!!

  • on September 7, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    Lets hope the Sri Lankans put the 'Test' caps on and take the field tomorrow..full credit to the aussies for capitalizing on the opportunities in Galle and I hope as a SL fan that our boys will give a tougher fight!! Congratz to Mahela on equalizing with the great bradman statistically atleast .

  • on September 7, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Give the fact that Khawaja has spent most of his time in number three, why is the spot given to Marsh? Marsh would be a better floater.

  • Marcio on September 7, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    So the article says AUS haven't won a test series for 18 months. What an appalling statistic. Unless of course they have only played two series during that time (yet another beat up). OK, about the 2nd test. Should be an interesting game. A lot of unknowns here, so pretty hard to pick. Ricky Ponting will be missed, esp. for his ability to play and dominate spin. Still, I just think that AUS are on a roll here. They won the one day series comfortably (resting key players for the last game), as well as the first test. SL seems to be lacking confidence, and lose self-belief when things get tough; whereas I think AUS are mentally tougher all-round. It will be interesting to see what SL do to unsettle Copeland. Although he didn't get many wockets, Copeland was a key reason AUS was able to dominate the first game. Let's hope for a good test!

  • ikmal--syd on September 7, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    i agree with ranatunga that the passion and commitment is not there. if u think about it over the last 2 years, (apart from world cup) sri lanka only play excellent in patches of a whole match, or are good on certain days, while disgraceful on others. hopefully eranga plays as he has raw pace an ability to get quality batsman out. mendis does not have this ability. Sl for the Win

  • Mutukisna on September 7, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Good move dropping Randiv. He bowled so badly in the first test. Is there a way of bringing in Seekuge Prasanna, in addition to Ajantha Mendis? Although I would like both to be selected, I would go for Prasanna if there is room for only of them. Also Prasanna is a much better fielder.

  • on September 7, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    SL should win this test match. the major concern in SL is batting. nobody in SL team to go after bowlers except dilshan & mathives. sanga will be failed again if he not going to attack aussie bowlers. SL should include S.Prasanna instead of A.mendis. prasanna has twice out hussey cheaply in ODIs'. Thirimanne is my opener with dilshan.SL should pressurize the oppositions every-time if they need to win rest of the matches.

  • on September 7, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Australia were lucky first time around. The toss helped them a great deal. I doubt Sri Lanka will lose this next test. Even though Australia did win it, judging by Shane Watson's arrogant comments after the match, Australia are going to enter this second match with an air of complacency which will be their downfall.

  • Cricketmaniac123 on September 7, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    It has to be said Australia is not as great as it used to be, I just wonder why is Sri Lanka battling like this with Dislshan, Sangakkara, Mahele in thier team they should give more of a fight than this

  • hyclass on September 7, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Id like to see Eranga and Prasanna in the lineup together. Herath did well, but if this pitch is quicker with more bounce,the wrist spinner could be a big wicket taker. Lakmal, Mendis, Eranga and Prasanna look an inexperienced, but quality attack. Theres always Dilshan and Samaraweera to bowl finger spin. SL need to bowl Australia out twice on a good wicket to have any chance of winning this series and they should ONLY be playing to win the series. Herath feels like he could easily be justified, but is a safe,rather than attacking option. Erangas recent numbers look good and i think he will really test Australia. I hope Dilshan continues to play his own game,but do it better. I think Australias batting lineup is more unsettled than it has been at any time for the last 4 years. This tour is the last hurrah of the previous administration,with Chappell and Nielsen still involved and bears all the uncertainty that the Argus Review characterised.Go Australia.Go Hughesy.Good luck Marsh.