Sri Lanka is all set to tour Australia in the month of January to play two-match Test series that will start from 24th January. Dinesh Chandimal-led unit has struggled to produce positive results in the longer format of the game. The side has managed to win only six games out of 20 played since July 2017.
There has been constant change in the leadership role as Angelo Matthew and Dinesh Chandimal have taken up the role on numerous occasions in past couple of years. The Islanders are currently playing in New Zealand. The visitor suffered another series defeat in New Zealand but there were positives as Angelo Matthews and Kusal Mendis produced runs with the bat.
Dimuth Karunaratne had a poor run with the bat and only scored 96 runs at an average of 24.00. Danushka Gunathilaka also looked uncomfortable against quality bowlers like Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
Captain Dinesh Chandimal failed to produce a notable score in the two-match Test series. There will certainly pressure on him to deliver the goods with the bat in Australia. Sri Lanka have suffered a setback of sorts as Angelo Matthews has been sidelined due to hamstring injury.
In the bowling department, Lahiru Kumara showed promise with his express pace in New Zealand. He certainly topped the bowling charts for Sri Lanka with nine wickets at an average of 34.44.
Suranga Lakmal and Dilruwan Perera have been Sri Lanka’s premier bowlers in the Test arena for quite some time. Dushmantha Chameera also played the final game at Christchurch and failed to pick up wickets for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka might make changes to their Test squad for the upcoming series in Australia.
On the other hand, Australia have been inconsistent and lost their home series against India. Captain Tim Paine will be hoping that Australia can get back to winning ways against Sri Lanka.
Marcus Harris has done well in the four-match Test series against India played at home. He has scored 258 runs in 4 matches at an average of 36.85 with two half centuries to his name.
Aaron Finch has been dropped as Peter Handscomb might get an extended run in the middle-order.
The biggest disappointment has been the form of Usman Khuwaja who managed to score only 198 runs at an average of 28.28. Left-hander will be looking to get back to form after struggling to get going in this series.
Shaun Marsh’s place is also not certain for the home series against Sri Lanka after his repeated failures with the bat. Players like Nick Larkin or Matt Renshaw might an opportunity to replace him in the middle-order.
Travis Head has been consistent with the bat and chipped in with decent scores. He certainly needs to go on and get a big score to establish his place in the Test side.
Captain Tim Paine has been in decent form with the bat in the home series against India. The new-ball pair of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood has struggled to find form since the start of 2018. Both are averaging well above 30 with the ball in Test cricket.
The first game of the series will be played at The Gabba, Brisbane from 23rd January. The second and final game of the Test series will be played at Manuka Oval, Canberra. The Sri Lankans will start their tour with three-day warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI to be played at Bellrieve Oval in Hobart from 17 to 19 January.
It will be an interesting contest as both sides have suffered defeats in their previous series in the longer format of the game.