Sri Lanka looks to overcome a heavy loss in the first test and some selection panel changes when it begins play in the second test against Australia at Manuka Oval on Friday.
Coach Chandika Hathurusingha was removed from the team’s selection panel this week. Captain Dinesh Chandimal says Hathurusingha was disappointed with no longer being a selector, but the team had to focus on an improved showing in the second test after losing by an innings and 40 runs in Brisbane.
“It’s tough. Every day there are a lot of changes,” Chandimal said Thursday. “That’s part of the game sometimes … we want to forget about that stuff outside of the cricket.”
Before Sri Lanka arrived in Australia, key batsman Angelo Mathews was ruled out with a hamstring injury and since, fast bowlers Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera have returned home with injuries.
Kasun Rajitha is expected to add to his three tests, as is left-armer Vishwa Fernando. Chandimal said Sri Lanka had settled on the lineup he hopes can level the series, but won’t divulge it until just before the toss.
“I can’t tell that you today, you can see tomorrow,” he said.
Australia coach Justin Langer said the hosts will likely keep the same team which won in Brisbane — six batsmen and no all-rounder.
“My gut feeling is it’s always nice to keep the same XI after you’ve had a win … if there is that little bit of grass on it (the wicket) I would be surprised if we changed the team,” Langer said.
After years of lobbying, Canberra will host its first test match as Manuka Oval becomes Australia’s 11th test venue.
Manuka first hosted an international match in 1992 during the World Cup when South Africa beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets. Chris Gayle hit a record 215 there in the West Indies’ 73-run win over Zimbabwe at the 2015 World Cup.
The ground has mostly hosted annual Prime Minister’s XI matches against a touring side.