It took the Australian Test team just two and a half days to run riot on the Sri Lankans and claim a comfortable first Test win in Brisbane. The series now heads to Canberra for the 2nd and final Test beginning Friday, the 1st of February.
Will the Australians capture a dominant series sweep or can the Sri Lankan squad turn it around to tie the series. See our preview and betting tips for the 2nd Test below.
The Australian pace bowling attack rolled through the Sri Lankans in Brisbane, bowling the tourists out for 144 and 139 in each innings led by a brilliant Pat Cummins, who claimed his first 10 wicket match and his best ever Test bowling figures of 6/23 in the second innings.
The Australian batting line-up only needed to bat once in the match as they compiled 323 in their first innings, led by Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head who both compiled 80. The Australians are yet to score a hundred between them this summer, which is particularly concerning and the fragile batting line-up looked shaky at times in Brisbane, at one stage falling to 4-82 before Labuschagne and Head rebuilt the innings.
It will be a special occasion for the nation’s capital as Manuka Oval in Canberra hosts its first ever Test match. Despite a dominant performance in the first Test, the curator at Manuka Oval, Brad van Dam, has promised a competitive Test wicket that should offer a little more to the batsmen than other pitches have so far this Summer. If this holds any truth, the Australian top order should have an easier time of it in Canberra and with the starts Marcus Harris has gotten over his first five Tests, we think its only a matter of time before he goes on with it.
That will be welcome news to the Australian batsmen, who were troubled by the pace attack of the Indians earlier in the Summer and their woes against swing bowling continued in Brisbane as Suranga Lakmal picked up five wickets.
The Australians could make some changes heading into the second Test. Debutant Kurtis Patterson looked at home in his first Test, scoring 30 in his sole innings, however, Joe Burns could be in the firing line after scoring just 15 and knowing Matt Renshaw is waiting in the wings. Youngster Will Pukovski will certainly be considered to make his Test debut as this represents the last chance for selectors to have a look at players before the Ashes in August.
The Sri Lankan top order looked well out of their depth against the Australian quicks. We tipped Dimuth Karunaratne to be the top batsman for the tourists and he did look like the only one capable of taming Starc and co in the first innings. On a more comfortable batting wicket, we think he is a good chance again.
Australia should win this Test and the series 2-0 but at just $1.17 there’s not much value there at all. They might be worth putting in a multi over the fanastic weekend of sporting action but we can’t justify a tip on them at that price!
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