Toss Sri Lanka opt to bat v Australia
Sri Lanka have won the toss and chosen to bat first in the day/night Test, despite the green tinge in evidence on the Gabba surface. Conditions are expected to be seam friendly in the first session, but captain Dinesh Chandimal perhaps expects his top order to be able to weather Australia’s new-ball onslaught. Australia captain Tim Paine said he would also have batted first, possibly owing to the Gabba surfaces tendency to sometimes flatten out quickly.
The hosts have two debutants in their XI. Fast bowler Jhye Richardson, 22, plays his first Test, having impressed in the recent ODI series against India, and having also been in good form in Shield cricket in late November. Middle order batsman Kurtis Patterson, 25, meanwhile, earned his debut by cracking two aggressive centuries against the Sri Lanka attack in the warm-up match in Hobart last week.
OpenerJoe Burns also plays his first Test since March last year, partnering Marcus Harris at the top of the innings. Marnus Labuschagne will bat in the top order as well.
Sri Lanka have chosen to go in with both their fastest bowlers – Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, picked alongside Suranga Lakmal in the seam attack. Lahiru Thirimanne will be the latest recruit at opener, having last played a Test in late 2017. This will be his 30th Test in a stuttering career that has so far reaped poor results.
Dhananjaya de Silva and Roshen Silva are expected to bat at No. 5 and No. 6 in the absence of the injured Angelo Mathews.
Sri Lanka have never won a Test in Australia. The hosts have not lost a Test at the Gabba since 1988. Both teams are unbeaten in day/night Tests so far – Sri Lanka having played two, and Australia four.
Australia: 1 Marcus Harris, 2 Joe Burns 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Travis Head, 6 Kurtis Patterson, 7 Tim Paine (capt & wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Jhye Richardson, 11 Nathan Lyon
Sri Lanka: 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Lahiru Thirimann, 3 Dinesh Chandimal (capt.), 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Roshen Silva, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Lahiru Kumara