Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Vandersay chose three spinners as Sri Lanka and chose to bat first

Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay will make his Test debut as Sri Lanka have picked three specialist spinners in their line-up after winning the toss and electing to bat in the opening Test of their two-match series against Australia in Galle.
The 32-year-old Vandersay took 3 for 49 and 2 for 40 in the two-match ODI series in Colombo, dismissing Australia’s Test batsmen Marnus Labuschagne twice and Cameron Green once. Vandersay’s first-class record is an excellent first-class record of taking 233 wickets at an average of 26.92, including 16 five-wicket hauls. He plays alongside left-arm orthodox Lasith Embuldeniya and offspinner Ramesh Mendis, giving Sri Lanka three specialist spinning options of three different varieties as well as the part-time offspin of Dhananjaya de Silva.
Sri Lanka have picked only one specialist pacer, Asitha Fernando, with Kasun Rajita as the 12th player. Pathum Nisanka also returned to the top order after missing Sri Lanka’s last two Tests in Bangladesh. Oshada Fernando missed.
Australia remains unchanged from the side that won the last Test played in Lahore in March. Travis Head was fit to play after recovering from a hamstring strain that ruled him out of the final ODI in Colombo. Glenn Maxwell, who was on standby to play his first Test since 2017 and his first first-class game since 2019, was named the 12th player. Mitchell Swepson and Nathan Lyon will partner in the four-man attack as the spin twins with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, with all-rounder Greene and part-time spinner Labuschagne and Head available as other bowling options. Left-arm spinner John Holland got a chance to play in the lead-up but was not picked due to finger pain. Starc returned after missing two T20Is and the entire ODI series due to an injured finger in the first T20I of the tour. He returned to Galle in 2016 after taking 11 for 94 at the same venue.

Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss despite heavy skies and elected to bat. It rained overnight and the ground was completely covered as the team arrived an hour before the toss. But Badals parted ways and the field was cleared for the warm-up, although the cover was briefly returned as Badals threatened again 30 minutes before the start of play.

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In the last 21 Tests in Galle, teams have won the toss and decided to bat first 20 times and have won the toss only three times and have won the toss. Sri Lanka got two of these losses against England in Galle last year.

Sri Lanka: 1 Pathum Nisanka, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Dhananjay de Silva, 6 Dinesh Chandimal, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (WK), 8 Ramesh Mendis, 9 Lasith Embuldeniya, 10 Asitha Fernando, 11 Jeffrey Wandersay

Australia:1 Usman Khawaja, 2 David Warner, 3 Marnus Labuschagne, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Travis Head, 6 Cameron Green, 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Mitchell Swepson

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