Battle-weary Aussies Still Favourites for SL Clash

Coming off the back of one of their most gruelling series in recent memory, Australia will be looking to restore confidence as they take on Sri Lanka in this three-match home series.

After a will-sapping draw in the 2nd Test against South Africa, the Baggy Greens were forced into changing their entire pace attack for the 3rd Test, a match in which they capitulated to the top-placed Proteas by 309 runs.  This forthcoming series against opposition who have never won a Test rubber in Australia will surely give the hosts the chance to gain form and momentum ahead of this summer’s Ashes battle in England.

The travelling Sri Lankans are unbeaten in their last three Test series.  However, this trio of victories occurred on home soil.  A cursory view of their recent Test history reveals no away series victory – Zimbabwe and Bangladesh aside – since 2001.  Even considering the remarkable batting talents of Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene, as well as Australia’s recent travails, it seems inconceivable that Sri Lanka can cause an upset against Michael Clarke’s gritty campaigners.

Australia enter this series defending the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy and will want to win the series outright in order to stay in touch with  second-placed England, who seem likely to triumph in India.  An unlikely victory for Sri Lanka would see them replace Pakistan in fifth place in the League – a more realistic draw would put the two Asian sides equal on series held, series won and series drawn, with only the Pakistanis superior Match Win/Loss Rate keeping them marginally ahead.

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