After a first-ever home Test series loss to India, Australia will hope for improved performance against Sri Lanka. The first of the two Test matches will be played at The Gabba in Brisbane starting from Thursday, 24th January. This will be a day/night match played with the pink ball.
The visitors are coming off a poor New Zealand tour themselves, where they failed to win a single match across formats. Though the focus of the season is the upcoming ICC World Cup, the teams will look to plot their way back in the Tests.
After the 2-1 series loss to India, Australia made a sea of changes to their side. Out went the Marsh brothers and Aaron Finch, while Josh Hazlewood is out with injury. Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw get their recalls, while young starlets Wil Pucovski and Kurtis Patterson earn their call-ups.
If you are looking for an ideal pick to your fantasy side, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and Usman Khawaja are strong suggestions. Even Marcus Harris with his knocks at the top of the order could be a good pick.
Sri Lanka Preview
Sri Lanka have never won a Test match in Australia and are without the experienced Angelo Mathews for the tour. Most of their batsmen struggled for runs in New Zealand, and even in the practice match. Bowling, however, looks extremely competitive with some impressive batsmen in the ranks.
Among the visitors, Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne remain strong names for consideration. Niroshan Dickwella’s exuberance behind the wickets and Suranga Lakmal’s prowess with the ball can also be considered.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Nathan Lyon had a stellar series against India, bagging 22 wickets in the series. The Pink ball helps the spinners a lot, especially under the lights. Lyon’s accuracy makes him an ideal pick for your fantasy side.
Usman Khawaja didn’t have a great time against India, and will look to bounce back. The conditions will suit his play and Khawaja will be looking to get some big runs in his kitty.
Dimuth Karunaratne can be Sri Lanka’s Cheteshwar Pujara on this tour. With his ability to soak up the pressure, he will look to keep things tight for the visitors. Have him in your fantasy side to reap rewards of his ability.
Australia: 1 Joe Burns 2 Marcus Harris 3 Usman Khawaja 4 Travis Head 5 Kurtis Patterson 6 Marnus Labuschagne 7 Tim Paine (WK) 8 Pat Cummins 9 Mitchell Starc 10 Peter Siddle 11 Nathan Lyon
Sri Lanka: 1 Dimuth Karunaratne 2 Lahiru Thirimanne 3 Dhananjaya de Silva 4 Kusal Mendis 5 Dinesh Chandimal 6 Niroshan Dickwella (WK) 7 Roshen Silva 8 Dilruwan Perera 9 Suranga Lakmal 10 Kasun Rajitha 11 Dushmantha Chameera
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