Sri Lanka will take on Australia in the 2nd Test of the 3 match series at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka on Thursday, September 8, 2011.
Match scheduled to begin at 10:00 local time (04:30 GMT, 10 AM IST)
The Tourists had won the first match of the series to take a lead of 1-0 and will be eying another victory to seal the series.
All eyes will be on the pitch, which was rated poor by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) match referee Chris Broad in the first encounter at Galle. The wicket was extremely dry, which made life difficult for the batsmen from day one.
Australia’s skipper Michael Clarke had elected to bat first after winning the toss in the first match, but stated that the pitch was difficult to bat on. He claimed that it appeared to be a day five wicket.
However, the newly appointed captain of the Aussies would have been pleased with the outcome of the first match. This was his first game as skipper of the team and he could not have asked for a better result.
Clarke also batted decently in the match and will be expecting a dominant performance in the upcoming encounter. His victory in the first Test was believed to be because of the nature of the pitch, but the stylish player will be eager to prove his mettle at Pallekele.
The Kangaroos will miss veteran Ricky Ponting in the next match, as he rushed back home due to his child’s birth. He will be replaced by the extremely talented Shaun Marsh, who is yet to play a Test match for his country.
However, it is likely that Pakistani born Usman Khawaja will bat at number three in the absence of Ponting. The left-handed player has impressed one and all with his technique and patience, but has not yet cemented his place in the team.
The visitors will rely more on their tested players like Shane Watson, Michael Hussey and Clarke to deliver with the bat. Apart from them, wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin will also be looking forward to score some runs for his side.
There was a big question mark on the Aussie bowling line-up before the start of the Test series. However, the start has been good for the team, as a couple of fresh players have impressed one and all.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon picked up a five-for in his debut game, which will give him a lot of confidence in the coming matches. He will have to be consistent though, as it will not be easy for him to take wickets on surfaces which do not offer much for the slower bowlers.
Apart from Lyon, Trent Copeland was also impressive. He did not get many wickets, but troubled the batsmen with his accuracy. The youngsters were supported well by Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Watson.
Sri Lanka will not be very pleased with the way things are going at the moment. The bowlers did a decent job in the first match, but it was the batting which failed miserably.
Senior players like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera and skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan will have to step up and perform in the next two games in order to bounce back in the series.