Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first here at The Gabba in Brisbane.
So that means, Australia will have to field and bowl on the request of Sri Lanka’s decision.
It’s the first of the two-match series between the two sides where it begins here with the day-night Pink Ball test.
- Marcus Harris
- Joe Burns
- Usman Khawaja
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Travis Head, Vice-Captain
- Kurtis Patterson (Debut Cap 457)
- Tim Paine, Wicket-Keeper & Captain
- Pat Cummins, Vice-Captain
- Mitchell Starc
- Jhye Richardson (Debut Cap 458)
- Nathan Lyon
Sri Lanka’s Squad
- Lahiru Thrimanne
- Dimuth Karunathe, Vice-Captain
- Dhananjaya De Silva
- Kusal Mendis
- Dinesh Chandimal, Captain
- Roshen Silva
- Niroshan Dickwella, Wicket-Keeper
- Dilruwan Perera
- Dushmantha Chameera
- Suranga Lakmal
- Lahiru Kumara
Lahiru Thirimanne and Dimuth Karunathe fired off nicely with some runs on the board.
At one time, Mitchell Starc almost provided Australia the perfect start to this Test match when the Umpire gave the finger.
It’s an in-swinging ball this time attacking the stumps angling in on the leg side.
And Thirimanne didn’t keep his head still when he flicked and missed before the ball tagged his pad.
But when Thirimanne appealed, the ball missed the stumps as he survived on seven not out.
Although, Pat Cummins dismissed not long later on 12 having swung in straight towards the off stump.
Cummins found a decent length pitched up in the middle before Thirimanne edged towards Marnus Labuschagne at third slip.
Thirimanne only defended without foot movement as well as taking his eyes off the ball.
It’s like if Thirimanne is batting blindfolded as his head position lost its shape & no full bat face involved which became crucial to his mistake.
Jhye Richardson secured his maiden Test wicket when he dismissed Dinesh Chandimal on five.
Richardson found a decent length on the sweet spot before it swung in straight towards the stumps.
It’s the attacking way to make that ball click as Richardson does best by unleashing the pace at high speed.
That’s what Cricket Australia is after when his strengths do reminisce what Josh Hazlewood usually does with the ball.
On the other hand, Chandimal makes the same mistake as Thirimanne by looking sideways and not straight.
That’s how he lets his bat edge towards Joe Burns at 2nd slip with no foot movement and open bat face presentation.
A few minutes before the break, Nathan Lyon captured Karunathe on 24 as Sri Lanka lose their third wicket.
It turned in with a decent length in the middle before angling towards the off-stump as Karunathe only let the bat edge straight to Paine’s gloves without any movement.
Tea Break: Sri Lanka 3-54
Sri Lanka’s Take
For Sri Lanka, I think they have problems playing the straight ball both attack and defense.
With high speed, Thirimanne, and Chanidmal panicked when they chose to keep their eyes away from the ball.
If they calmed themselves them down and kept their technique straight, then they would’ve survived.
The same went from Karunathe when he failed to play the spinners well.
I know the ball has made some turn in-line straight towards the stumps.
But Karunathe should’ve at least danced a bit and not defended down low on his arm guard which is a no-no.
So these are the lessons that Thirimanne, Karunathe and Chandimal will have to learn if they want to bounce back next time.
Apart from that, it’s a slow and steady start with some room of improvement needed after tea.
All Sri Lanka has to do is block 100s of good balls as well as making up runs such as singles and occasional 4s if the bowler did wrong.
Kusal Mendis (14*) & Roshen Silva (0*) will need to make up lost time and get going to build a stand towards the 200-250 mark.
It’s good from the bowlers to attack the stumps which are hard for the batsmen to make runs.
Cummins and Richardson proved it right when they’ve unleashed the pace at high speed.
As long as the length remains decent, the straightness of the ball swinging it does help.
That’s how Thirimanne and Chandimal panicked when they had no idea how to stop a good ball.
And on the lone spinning department, Nathan Lyon knows how to get it done when he targeted closer to Paine’s gloves.
Lyon made the ball click when he turned in towards the off-stump before Karunathe hesitated by edging straight to Paine.
So far, the catches that Australia made has gone well in this session of three scalps in hand.
Now, they’ll need to change the variation and pace to produce LBWs & clean bowls as well as continuing the strategy to attack the stumps.