AUSTRALIA TOUR TO SRI LANKA, 2022
Australia’s test captain says his team will learn a lot from their second Test defeat against Sri Lanka when they travel to India next year © AFP
Australia captain Pat Cummins said his team, which fell for one inning quite dramatically at Galle, “takes a lot of lessons” for India next year.
The visitors lost nine wickets against Sri Lanka in the final session of Day 4, squandering the opportunity to win a series on these shores. They dominated the first test and secured a 1-0 lead comfortably before settling for a 1-1 draw in the end.
“I think half of our batting lineup and half of our bowling lineup haven’t played much here on the subcontinent. So the experience in these two very different wickets [in Galle]… I think we took a lot of lessons from that to take to India next year,” Cummins said.
“These are the tours where you learn a lot. We learned a lot during our win last week, unfortunately this time it’s a loss. I thought a lot about the guys, whether it was their first tour here or others that were coming back, everyone found a method that worked. Unfortunately it didn’t work today. As a batting and bowling group, I think we can go home very satisfied.”
Cummins also said the defeat was a good “reality check” for Australia in very different conditions than they have at home. They recently had a good tour of Pakistan, where they won 1-0, and entered quite confidently against an out-of-shape, Covid-stricken opposition in Sri Lanka in the second test. This manifested itself in how Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne scored hundreds in early innings, but Australia failed to reach 400 despite this.
“It’s a good reality check for people touring around here that’s really tough. So many positives from last week, we’ve found methods that work. A little hiccup doesn’t mean you have to change everything. And that makes for more learning than than after a win,” Cummins said. “Some batsmen came out with a very clear plan, and you just got a ball with your name on it sooner than you’d like.
“Unfortunately, none of us stayed with Smith long enough to get to 400+, which meant that even if we were there for 180 overs, you were even at the turn,” Cummins added. “It was probably a missed opportunity. The way we set up the game on day one, we were hoping to get over 400, which history suggests here puts you in a very good position.
“Certainly as the game progressed, the footprints started to react a little more. A new bowling team always makes a little difference too. So it all happened very quickly and unfortunately we were on the wrong side.
“The plan was to just hit. There were still about five sessions left in the game. I think if we were just over 100 behind we were still in the game, but 200 was probably beyond us. We were trying to bat for the rest of the day.” and then make a plan for tomorrow.”