Cricket Article

Australia v Sri Lanka 2nd Test live at Melbourne

Australia v Sri Lanka 2nd Test live at Melbourne Photo: TT

While the holiday season is in full flow, two sides are gearing up for arguably the most important event in cricket calendar - the Boxing Day test.

Sri Lanka aim to keep the series alive when they face Australia at the MCG in the second test match.

The first test match went to Australia after an engrossing last couple of days that saw the visitors try hard but fall short by 137 runs.

The fact that Sri Lanka have never won a test match in Australia further compounds the pressure. Australia, after the disappointing series loss to South Africa, recovered well to return to their winning ways.

Australia continue to be troubled despite their win. Their injury list does not seem to cease which means a reshuffle of players is necessary.

Captain Michael Clarke is the biggest question mark and looks highly unlikely to play the match to further risk his hamstring. In his absence, Shane Watson will lead the team. Watson has underfired since his return to the team.

The bowling attack again bears a new look with Jackson Bird all set for debut while Mitchell Johnson expected to be in the playing eleven. Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc will miss out.

Sri Lanka owed their fighting effort to their senior batsmen who wrestled the slide.

Tillakaratne Dilshan’s century in the first innings while gritty displays by Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera give the team some hope of doing well as they look to seize their best moment to seal a win in Australia.

They will look to draw inspiration from the famous win against South Africa a year ago when no one expected them to come even close. Rangana Herath, the champion of that win, is likely to extract more life out of the MCG track and already has the highest number of wickets this year.

This will be the 18th consecutive Boxing Day test match at the MCG.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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