Australia feels a need for speed in first Test clash with Sri Lanka

Australia expect their pace bowlers to be a point of difference against Sri Lanka, with Mitchell Starc poised to deliver the same feat that helped him shine in 2016.

Australia will enter the first Test in Galle on Wednesday with Starc and Pat Cummins as the two front lines, while Cameron Green will act as a true third navigator.

Most of the focus in Galle will remain on spin as Australia consider teaming Jon Holland or Mitchell Swepson with Nathan Lyon.

The hosts are also expected to start off with a spin-laden attack, using five tweakers in a recent ODI and often just two Seamers in Asia.

But coach Andrew McDonald wants Australia to do it its own way, not tempted to ignore Green’s all-rounder talent to find an extra spin bowling option.

“We feel like our fast bowling makes a difference here,” McDonald said.

“People are talking about spin, spin, spin. Mitch Starc had a fantastic impact here last time, Pat (Cummins) will open with impact too.

“We probably also have to do it differently than our opponent. We can’t be them. And we don’t want to be. We want to be us.”

The Australian Snels were unable to bowl to batters during practice in Galle, with the run up not being in the nets long enough and the wickets in the center unsuitable for hitting.

McDonald will support his sailors to get the job done in Galle.Getty Images: Mark Kolbe

Another challenge could await in their attempt to swing the ball back like they did in 2016, with the square around the dry wicket well watered in recent days.

Visitors hope a breeze from the Indian Ocean will have an effect, while the practice fields at the edge of the plaza can still provide abrasive grass, making the ball bounce up and back faster.

Starc is easily Australia’s best exponent of the reverse swing art as he got the ball early in 2016 when he took 24 wickets at 3:16pm.

“The blueprint is still the same,” he said.

Leave a Comment