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Confident Lankans ready for Aussie challenge

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Sri Lanka Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins with Murali -Warne trophy at the Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday. (Pix courtesy SLC)

Test cricket is a different format and we have to focus on this five day match against world number one test team Australia and it’s huge challenge However we are ready to take up this challenge said Sri Lankan Test cricket captain Dimuth Karunaratne yesterday before the first test against Australia at Galle International cricket stadium. The match will commence today at 10 am. The test match series will be played for Murali – Warne trophy and several Australian cricket fans are already in Galle to witness this match series.

“I think we have to prepare well and they Aussies also play well against our team. Not like last time Aussies played T20 and ODI cricket series before this Test series and they have also adjusted to the conditions but we have home advantage for this Test series. The last Bangladesh Test series we won with fast bowlers really doing well but here conditions favour the spinners. We have a good spin attack but all of them have limited experience. Apart from Lasith Embuldeniya others have less than ten Test matches experience overall both spinners and pacemen are inexperienced but the way they played during recent matches I have lot of expectations,” said skipper Dimuth Karunaratne..

“Don’t forget Aussies have a good pace attack comprising skipper Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc while key spinner Nathan Lyon has performed well during last series at Galle. As a senior batter I have lot of experience against these bowlers while our new players already played T 20 and ODI’ series before the Test matches and that gives them a big boost for this Test series”.

“Actually this Test match series is a part of the ICC Test Championship and both teams know the importance of the Test series. When the players come to the field we have to play with more confidence. Experience is more important while match exposure also is vital and at difficult times the two teams are expected to give their best and I must thank both SLC and Cricket Australia for making this Test series a success. The Galle wicket we already inspected is dry and hope in the latter stage it will turn much but we have to adjust to any situation as professional cricketers,” said Dimuth Karunaratne.

“We have decided to play with seven batters and four bowlers at this game but it has not been finalised whether two spinners and two fast bowlers or three spinners and one fast bowler for the first Test and it will be decided after inspection of the wicket before the match and final training session was scheduled to be held yesterday evening. The head coach Chris Silverwood and Assistant coach Naveed and other supporting staff members give the best support to the team and our aim is to win the series like our last Australian series.” said Dimuth Karunaratne.

Meanwhile Australian team led by Pat Cummins are ready to take up this challenge after T20 and ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Australia suffered a 3-0 defeat in the Test series when they last visited Sri Lanka six years ago, where the Tests were played first before going on to the white ball series. This time around, they started with the white ball series (T20 and ODI) before moving on to the Test series, which has given most of their players ample time to acclimatize to the conditions, while helping selectors to decide their team based on performance in the white ball series, as well as the ‘A’ team tour which took place concurrently.

“Last time (in Sri Lanka), we probably didn’t do it well enough. We probably overated us. We proved to ourselves in Pakistan that we had the game plan to do well in the sub-continent. This is one of the better teams of playing spin that I’ve been a part of the Australian cricket team. I think we’ve learned from past mistakes, and the young guys coming in are learning from the older guys,” said Australia opener Usman Khawaja ahead of first Test.

Australia have included Glenn Maxwell in the Test team. Maxwell has been playing well against the Sri Lankan spinners during the tour, sweeping and reverse sweeping, which Australia hope will come in handy during the Test series. “I’ve done a bit of red-ball work training-wise; always trying to stay ready just in case, knowing there were a few sub-continent tours coming up, not just this year but next year as well,” said Maxwell ahead of the first Test.

Meanwhile, Travis Head who was out of 5th ODI with an injury after the 4th ODI, was seen training well in Galle yesterday, and it appears he will be ready in two days for the first Test, which will give Australia several options to choose from.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka cricket and Tourists Ministry have organised a special ceremony to pay tribute the late spin legend Shane Warne before start of the match today where SLC top officials and Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley will take part

The teams

Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya, Jeffrey Vandersay.

Standby players: Dunith Wellalage, Lakshitha Rasanjana.

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.

Standby players: Jon Holland, Matthew Kuhnemann, Todd Murphy

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 – 01:00











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