Cricket Live Streaming Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Match 2012
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has a chance to make history in Hobart this weekend. It is his last series as captain, and he has never tasted victory Down Under, not in a single game as player or skipper. In fact, Sri Lanka have never won a Test in Australia, and in all the games they've contested overall, Sri Lanka have won only once, all the way back in 1999 in Kandy. The last time they visited Aussie shores, they played their final game in Hobart and lost by 96 runs.
Now they come to a relaid ground, where the deck is supposedly variable and not fun to bat on, with the Aussies still recovering from an energy-sapping series against South Africa. The visitors are not in the strongest position to take advantage of thatm though, having lost their last Test to New Zealand in Colombo.
Sri Lanka must contend with the unstoppable force that is Michael Clarke, who is in imperious form with the bat and growing in confidence as skipper with every game. Still, 'Pup' will need his top order to come to the party and support him, even though there's been a shuffle of late.
Ricky Ponting's retirement will have left a hole in the dressing room, if not for his weight of runs then just for his influence, experience and stability. His replacement, Phil Hughes, has runs on his side, but will need to transfer his state form to the big stage.
Australia's pace attack is vastly superior, it's fair to say, with Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus recovered from their Adelaide exploits, and Mitchell Starc retaining his place after impressing against the Proteas. Nathan Lyon remains the spin option after a good recent series.
Shane Watson is crucially fit to bowl, giving Clarke the option to give him longer spells now that he's dropped down the batting order to four. Balancing the all-rounder's duties will be vital to his longevity, and the other bowlers' energy levels too.
The visitors have an impressive quick in the form of Shaminda Eranga, who did well the in the tour match, and they have the top Test wicket-taker this year in their ranks, namely Rangana Herath. Nuwan Kulasekara provides a steady line and length with the new ball.
As for the batsmen, Sri Lanka have a veteran top order with experience in Oz, namely the two Jayawardenes, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Their experience at the top is tempered by Dimuth Karunaratne, who will open alongside Dilshan in only his second Test. He did well against the Kiwis, scoring a fifty on debut, thus pushing Tharanga Paranavitana out the side.