Our Prediction is Australia to win the match!
Hosts Australia will be looking to start afresh when they take on Sri Lanka in the opening game of the Test series in Brisbane on Thursday.
Tim Paine and co. will be keen to turn things around after losing the four-match Test series against India played at home. The defeat in the Border Gavaskar Trophy has prompted Australian selectors to made wholesale changes to the Test squad for the two-match series against Sri Lanka. Australia will be keen to do well in the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka have been suffering from terminal decline after suffering whitewash at the hands of England at home. The Islanders also were completely outplayed in the Test series played in New Zealand.
The home side has certainly opted for players who have done well in the first-class cricket this season. Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh have been dropped due to poor show with the bat in the four-match series against India. The selectors have picked uncapped players like Jhye Richardson, Will Pucovski and Kurtis Patterson for the two-match Test series.
Pace bowler Jhye Richardson did exceedingly with the ball for Australia in the recently concluded one-day series against India. He has holds an excellent record in first-class cricket and averages 23.24 with the ball in hand. Kurtis Patterson certainly grabbed the attention of selectors and smashed two centuries in the warm-up game played against Sri Lanka at Bellrieve Oval, Hobart.
Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw have earned their recall to the national side on the back of good performances in the Sheffield Shield cricket this season. Marcus Harris and Travis Head were the only two players who did well against India in the four-match Test series. Harris certainly scored crucial runs and showed promise with the bat after making his debut for Australia in Adelaide.
Usman Khuwaja looked out of sorts with the bat in the four-match Test series against India. Left-handed batsman will be keen to get back to his best in this two-match series against Sri Lanka. Captain Tim Paine has been consistent performer for the side and has chipped in with crucial scores for Australia in the five-day format. Since his return to the Test side, Paine has scored 652 runs in 15 matches at an average of 34.31 with three half-centuries to his name.
Marnus Labuschagne will certainly play this game after doing well against India in Sydney. He will be keen to make an impression with the bat in this series. In the bowling department, the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon will need to produce crucial breakthroughs for Australia.
Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Matt Renshaw/Joe Burns, Kurtis Patterson, Marnus Labuschagne, Usman Khuwaja, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle/Mitchell Starc.
Tim Paine, Marcus Harris, Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne, TM Head, Mitchell Starc, Joe Burns , Jhye Richardson, Usman Khawaja, Kurtis Patterson, Nathan Lyon
Dinesh Chandimal-led unit had a decent outing with the bat in the warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI. Lahiru Thiramanne and Dimuth Karunaratne spend valuable at the crease and produced decent scores for Sri Lanka.
Thiramanne has been included in Sri Lanka’s Test squad as a replacement for all-rounder Angelo Matthews, who has been ruled out of the Test series due to a hamstring injury.
The big positive for Sri Lanka is premier batsman Kusal Mendis finding form with the bat in Test series played in New Zealand. Since the start of 2018, Mendis has topped the batting charts for Sri Lanka in Test cricket with 1023 runs in 12 matches. Sri Lanka will be hoping that Mendis can continue his good form in this series against Australia.
In the batting department, the side will be relying heavily on the likes of Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis to do bulk of the scoring. The inclusion of Roshen Silva has been a good decision as he has been consistent performer for the side. Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella will need to produce crucial runs for the side in this series.
In the bowling department, Suranga Lakmal and Dushmantha Chameera will be premier pace options for Sri Lanka. Dilruwan Perera and Kasun Rajitha will be other bowling options for this game.
Lahiru Thiramanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Roshen Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva/Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha
Niroshan Dickwella, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Dilruwan Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis , Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Roshen Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Thirimanne
Traditionally, the pitch at The Gabba, Brisbane offers pace and bounce for the quick bowlers throughout the Test match. The batsmen will have to work hard for their runs as it will offer assistance to the pace bowlers. The weather forecast for Thursday is mostly sunny.
The Gabba, Brisbane is one of the quickest pitches in Australia at the moment. It has been a happy hunting ground for Australia as they have been able to maintain unbeaten streak in the last two decades.
The side that wins the toss would like to bowl first as the newly prepared surface might offer something for the quick bowlers.