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Australian Cricket: Sri Lanka v Australia 2nd Test preview

Australia wrapped up a 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka inside just three days in the opening Test match and they will be out to inflict similar damage when the final Test gets underway on Friday.

The Aussies dominated with both the bat and ball, which came as something of a surprise considering the struggles they encountered in the One Day International series, which they lost 3-2.

The conditions in Galle were also tipped to be an issue but some outstanding bowling by Nathan Lyon, who took nine wickets throughout the match, and some solid batting, helped Australia to victory.

It is now on to the second Test at the same venue and Sri Lanka are sure to come out fighting to try and draw the series at 1-1.

Australia will take plenty of heart from the first match but now need to back it up with a similar performance.

What: Sri Lanka v Australia
Where: Galle International Stadium, Galle, Sri Lanka
When: 14:30 (AEST) 8th to 12th July  2022
Odds: Sri Lanka 12/5, Australia 5/6

Maxwell set for shock inclusion

It is no surprise that spin bowling was a key factor in the opening Test in Galle. 26 wickets out of the 31 that fell all came from spin and it means that Australia could be about to make a big call for the second Test.

Captain Pat Cummins has revealed the Aussies may go with just the one quick when the Test gets underway on Friday. It means that Mitchell Starc could be left out of the side with all-rounder Glenn Maxwell tipped to come in.

A final decision has yet to be made and the Aussies will inspect the pitch on Friday before making the call.

However it looks as though Maxwell is set to get the nod. He really caught the eye with his bowling during the One Day International series and he can also be devastating with the bat. So it is easy to see why Cummins and the selectors are leaning towards him.

Maxwell will not be expected to hang around all day and make a century. But a quick-fire 30 to 40 runs lower down the order could be pivotal to how the game unfolds.

Lyon, Mitchell Swepson and even Travis Head starred with the ball in the first Test. Marnus Labuschagne can also bowl so Maxwell would be another strong option alongside those four.

As well as Cummins, all-rounder Cameron Green is another quick option for Australia and that would be more than enough.

Starc only bowled 11 overs in the first Test, Cummins did not bowl in the second innings and Green did not bowl at all.

Australia have an embarrassment of riches and there are no fresh injuries to report going into the game. However they do have a dilemma regards the make-up of their side. It is a selection headache but a good one to have.

Sri Lanka hit by selection crisis

Sri Lanka will have been hugely disappointed with the way they performed in the first Test. Their spin bowlers were well below par and not on the same level as Australia, while they also fell apart with the bat.

A big improvement will be needed and the selectors were planning big changes. However some changes have now been forced on them on the eve of the test.

A host of players have become unwell and have been ruled out of the Test match. They include allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva, quick Asitha Fernando and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay.

Back-up spinner Praveen Jayawickrama has also been ruled out and Sri Lanka fear there could be more casualties before play gets underway on Friday.

For now it is almost impossible for them to finalise their side but they do have options.

One huge boost is the return of Angelo Matthews who missed part of the first Test. The senior batsman has since recovered and will add valuable experience to a batting line-up that flopped in the opener.

Number one spin star Lasith Embuldeniya has been dropped from the side and as long as there are no further setbacks, Sri Lanka plan to blood some potential stars of the future.

Left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya could be set to debut along with talented youngster. Dunith Wellalage. Left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan is also another option.

While Australia look set to go with one specialised quick, captain Cummins, Sri Lanka could field an attack made up of just spin bowlers. If they do go with a pace bowler then Kasun Rajitha will be selected.

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