Batsman Mike Hussey has warned his team to prepare themselves for a succession of slow pitches and a spin-laden bowling attack ahead of Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka.
The tourists will play Twenty20s on Saturday and Monday before taking on the hosts in five One-Day Internationals and three Tests.
The Twenty20s, to be played at the Pallekele International Stadium, will see the hosts having to cope without fast-bowler Lasith Malinga, who has been ruled out of the T20s, but is not expecting the paceman’s absence to be any easier for his side.
“They’re definitely home-favoured pitches,” Hussey told AAP. “[There will be] a lot of spin involved, I guess the players just have to get their heads around playing in the different conditions.”
T20 captain Cameron White seemed to share similar sentiments, expecting a tough contest.
“The Sri Lankan team is obviously a very strong one,” said White. “I think they showed in England in the shorter formats they are in very good form so I think they will be a very hard one to beat. We’ll have to play well.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan insisted that his team would not be taking Australia lightly despite their youthful look. He also mentioned that he expects his younger players to take the opportunity presented by Malinga’s absence by putting on impressive performances.
“This [Malinga’s injury] happens to any cricketer but it is a good opportunity for a youngster who is selected to showcase his talent,” said Dilshan. “Australia usually play very hard. They may be a bit inexperienced but they are tough opponents.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2011.