Australia seem to be on a roll at the moment. Spin has been their major area of concern and their record in Asia wasn’t as good since January 2012 before the start of this year. Australia had won a mere two Test matches out of 19 between January 2012 and February 2022.
- Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test
- Galle International Stadium, Galle
- July 8th-12th, 2022
However, they have turned things around from the tour of Pakistan earlier this year. They won the three-match series 1-0 and now have carried that form and momentum into the two-match series in Sri Lanka. They were dominant and clinical in that first Test at Galle. Their spinners bowled superbly while their batting stood tall as well.
Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson were excellent in both innings while Travis Head chipped in nicely in the second innings with the ball. Usman Khawaja led the charge once again with the bat while the likes of Cameron Green and Alex Carey made vital contributions in the middle-order to give the Aussies a crucial lead.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s batting was a huge let down. Quite a few batters got starts but most of them threw it away and only two batters went past the 30-run mark across both innings of the Test match. The hosts were bundled out for scores of 212 and 113. On the bowling front, Sri Lanka’s lead spinner Lasith Embuldeniya was poor and conceded runs at an economy of 4.90 runs an over without picking a single wicket. Ramesh Mendis bowled well and was the pick of the bowlers.
Sri Lanka will be in search of consistency with both bat and ball and even their overall form in the longest format which has fluctuated quite a bit this year. They have three losses, one win and one draw from five Tests.
Head to head highly stacked in favour of Australia
Australia are well ahead in terms of the head to head record against Sri Lanka. The latter have won a mere four Test matches against Australia and three of them came in 2016. Australia have 20 wins and there have been eight draws so far.
Usman Khawaja’s incredible form
Before being recalled for the New Year’s Test match against England at the SCG earlier this year, Usman Khawaja’s last Test match was back in August 2019. He had a gap for nearly two and a half years but he came back with a bang. He smashed twin centuries in his comeback match and hasn’t looked back since then. The left-hander has amassed 822 runs at an average of 117.42 which includes four tons and three fifties in Test cricket in 2022. And 567 of those runs have come in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Thus, Khawaja will be the one player to look out for once again.
Lasith Embuldeniya struggled big time in the first Test but he is Sri Lanka’s main spinner. Jeffrey Vandersay was also quite expensive with the ball and it’ll be interesting to see if the hosts give Praveen Jayawickrama a go. Meanwhile, the Aussies are unlikely to tinker with their winning combination and that has worked throughout this year in the subcontinent.
Australia will be favourites heading into this second Test match and have the winning odds of 1.56. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka face an uphill battle and task against the Pat Cummins-led side. Their winning odds are placed at 2.12.
Who will win the Man of the Match?
Usman Khawaja is in top form and has been racking up the big scores consistently. Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon will also be the one to watch out for. The off-spinner returned with nine wickets in the first Test and played a big role in Australia’s win. Ramesh Mendis bowled really well for Sri Lanka and took four wickets. He can also contribute with the bat and he could be a contender to be the player of the match.