Australia tour of SriLanka. The Aussies are on the top of the world in both red ball and conventional white ball cricket, Pakistan is again in possession of deadly left arm seamers, Sri Lanka are bad again but are led by a spirited Captain. India’s reins are back in hand of an aggressive leader, basically early 2000 are back. Good ol’ days, seriously.
Australia tour of SriLanka
Australia will finally return to action in the whites as they play Sri Lanka a three test series Australia tour of SriLanka. Australia are buoyant after beating South Africa and host West Indies in a tri-series played on conditions that don’t suit them. Sri Lanka are freshly wounded after a winless tour of England, but on the positive side, they managed to beat Ireland, the best European side, twice. But, they can use their pitches to their advantage as the Aussies have recently been exposed against quality turners and Mitchell Santner too. Two contrasting team forms, two contrasting styles of play, two contrasting attitudes, and only one will prevail to lay hands on the quirky Warne-Murlidharan Trophy.
Here are five talking points.
Ever since Steve Smith has started leading the Aussies in whites, he has been undefeated, a pretty decent record considering that he has played the Kiwis in two series. Will the streak continue? it’s a hard question to answer. He has never been to Sri Lanka. He is far from the typical Australian struggler on spin tracks, though. But the pressure will be on Smith, the captain, not Smith the batsman. It will be interesting to see how he leads because the subcontinental pitches are result inducing unlike his home strips where his proactive strategies do well.
Matthews vs Marsh
Batsman vs batsman. Consolidator vs attacker. Bowler vs bowler. Workhorse vs Striker. Most reliable player vs still establishing himself in team. It will be exciting to see how the contest of these two fares. Both play vital roles. Matthews is the perfect allrounder while Marsh has contributed more as a wicket taker. He’ll be expected to fire as a batsman too given that he’s now become a regular name on the roster.
A Tale of two bats
Very few times it happens that two sides face off with such contrasting batting lineups. Warner, Khwaja, Smith and Burns and all Slamboyant stroke makers who love having space on the ball. So, the Sri Lankan pitches are going to challenge them. While the Sri Lankan batsman finally showed grit at the fag end of the England test series, will look to repeat their show of mettle when pitted against the fiery trio of Starc, Hazlewood and Pattinson. Since all three are good at swinging the old as well as new cherry.
It will be really inappropriate to have the Warne-Murli Trophy. A really renovated Nathan Lyon if paired up with Adam Zampa, of the recent hot commodity people call ‘leg spinners’ can spice up things when bowling on surfaces that deteriorate from day three onwards. The dampness will also assist them. It’ll be no easy sailing for the tourist as well. Rangana Herath, with his slow, slow tweakers, knows a thing or two about troubling alien batsman.
The FBC is back
The folklore of the Australian pacers, also know as Fast Bowling Cartel is the stuff of Legends. After retirement of old reliable Ryan Harris and the even fierce Mitchell Johnson, things seemed to go upside down. But with Mitchell Starc leading the back with his left arm late swinging bullets, ably supported by the consistency of the McGrathesque, Josh Hazlewood and a resurrected James Pattinson, can shake up any batting line up on any given day. But they are far away from their comfort zone and adapting to lifeless tracks might take some time. Dasun Shanaka impressed in England and will look to rattle the much talked about Australian batting that feature a player with three twin tons, a player averaging 97.5, and a player leading ICC’s test rankings.