We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Pitch Report for Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test
There’s a tinge of grass on the pitch, and it looks harder than it was in the opening Test. However, the spinners are likely to dominate the way they did last week. Another result-oriented game looms large.
Probable Playing XIs for Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Ramesh Mendis, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Maheesh Theekshana
Pat Cummins hinted that Glenn Maxwell could get a game, but the final call will be taken on the morning of Day 1, that is, after they analyse how the wicket looks.
Probable XI for Australia: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc/Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson
Power Players for Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test
Nathan Lyon scored the most fantasy points in the first Test. His match figures read 9 for 121. Since the Tests in Pakistan this year, Lyon has bagged 20 wickets in three games.
Usman Khawaja has been having a dream run in the format this year. His last six scores read 97, 160, 44*, 91, 104*, and 71 – all have come in the subcontinent. His ability to play the ball late on spinner friendly wickets has helped him enormously.
In a mere 7 Tests, Ramesh Mendis has already managed 31 wickets – of which 25 have come at Galle. He did not hesitate bowling the attacking lengths despite Australia pursuing an aggressive approach.
Smart Picks for Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test
Travis Head spun a web around the Sri Lankan batters with his off-spin in the second innings. He registered figures of 4 for 10 in 2.5 overs. With the bat too, he has been putting up impressive performances across formats. In his last 10 competitive games, he has scored two hundreds and two fifties.
Cameron Green won the Player of the Match award for his fighting knock of 77. It was his innings that lifted Australia from 100 for 4 to a healthy total of 321. The highlight of the innings was his aggressive sweeping on a track that significantly assisted the spinners.
Attack is the new defence. Unlike his fellow batters, Niroshan Dickwella did not bog down and smashed 58 off 59. Batting at No.7 anyway does not leave him much time to collect runs. Expect the same brand of cricket from Dickwella.
Australia’s wicketkeeper too helped garner fantasy points: Alex Carey hit 45 off 47 including six fours. Come to think of it, batters who score runs at a brisk rate are more likely to succeed on this wicket.
Dimuth Karunaratne got starts in both innings but could not last long. He, however, has been in great touch in the format this year. He has scored two fifties and two fifties in the last five matches.
Pathum Nissanka likes occupying the crease for longer periods, but he played uncharacteristic shots on both occasions (23 and 14). He will have to choose his shots wisely against the disciplined Australians.
David Warner looked good until he lasted, scoring 25 off 24 including five fours. Against Sri Lanka, he has scored five fifties in seven Tests.
Sri Lanka showcased an ordinary performance in the first Test, conceding 0-1 lead to Australia. They will have to pull off an improbable the way they did in the ODI series. The confident Australians, otherwise, will devour them in no time.
Time: July 8, 10 AM IST