CANBERRA – Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bat in the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday.
The home team have stuck with the same side that won the first Test in Brisbane by an innings and 40 runs, with the focus on whether their batsmen can break a drought of centuries that has spanned the summer.
“I can’t believe it. It’s a nice start,” said Paine, who has been on a run of losing the toss.
“There’s a little bit more grass than usual. Hopefully a little bit more pace. Hopefully we can get a big total and go from there and then it stays a bit lower and starts to spin later in the game.”
Sri Lanka, who have never won a Test in Australia, are without injured pace duo Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, with Kasun Rajitha and Vishwa Fernando coming into the side.
And in a big blow to the visitors, Suranga Lakmal, their best bowler in Brisbane, was ruled out Friday morning with a stiff back.
Chamika Karunaratne, who only arrived in Australia three days ago, took his place. Allrounder Roshen Silva, meanwhile, was replaced by Kusal Perera.
“Injury is the main concern. Suranga Lakmal unfortunately will miss out with a stiff back,” said Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal.
Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Chamika Karunaratne, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha.
Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG), Michael Gough (ENG)
TV umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA)
Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)
Agence France-Presse (AFP)