Australia went down 3-2 in the recent ODI series against Sri Lanka and Wednesday marks the beginning of the two game Test series from Galle.
As always, we have you covered with a dedicated preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Sri Lanka vs Australia 1st Test Betting Tips
Galle, Wednesday June 29th, 2.30pm (AEST)
Predicted XI: Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Pathum Nissanka, Angelo Matthews, Dhanajaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella, (Four Bowlers)
The Sri Lankan top seven should be pretty locked and ready to roll, the hard part to predict in their line-up is the bowling unit they will opt for. They have eight bowlers in their squad and depending on the state of the pitch, could play up to three frontline spinners, especially with the added seam option of Angelo Matthews in the side.
Sri Lanka have actually been pretty solid in Test matches over recent memory, losing just two of their last 10 matches, both to India in their two match series earlier this year. The last time they hosted Australia in a Test series, they claimed an historic 3-0 series win on the back of some brilliant performances with the bat from de Silva and Mendis.
Predicted XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson, Josh Hazlewood
The Australian line-up should be a bit more settled than the Sri Lankan heading into the first Test on Wednesday. A dominant performance with the bat from Usman Khawaja throughout the Ashes and the following series against Pakistan cemented his spot in the side, while Travis Head has likely also locked down a spot in the top five.
No.6 and the option to play an extra spinner seem the only decisions that the Australian selctors need to make. If they decide to go with Cameron Green at No.6, then they will likely play a 2nd front-line spinner in Mitch Swepson. If they do opt for Lyon and the three pronged pace attack, then I think Glenn Maxwell plays ahead of Green at No.6.
There is certainly some issues with the Australian batting line-up in the white ball setup, but this Test top five is so much more realiable, particularly now that Khawaja has become one of the premier Test batsmen in the world. They might have the highest combined ranking of any top five in the history of Test cricket, with rankings of 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 9th and 13.
With Khawaja and Marnus in the line-up, they are much more equipped to deal with the spin heavy conditions that Sri Lanka will throw at them, so I certainly don’t think it will be another Sri Lankan white-wash like it was in 2016. The key for the Aussies will be identifying the characteristics of the pitch early and picking the right set up of bowlers. If they can do that, I think they should win this 1st Test.
Khawaja Top AUS Runscorer – 1st Inn ($4.50 at Ladbrokes) 0.5 Units
Nissanka Top SL Runscorer – 1st Inn ($6.00 at Ladbrokes) 0.5 Units
Cummins Top AUS Wicket Taker – 1st Inn ($4.00 at Ladbrokes) 0.5 Units
Vandersay Top SL Wicket Taker – 1st Inn ($3.50 at Ladbrokes) 0.5 Units
Australia to win
$2.30 (3 Units)