Sri Lanka defeated Australia by 163 runs in the 3rd test match at Colombo earlier today. The Sri Lankan team whitewashed Australia 3-0. It was an excellent performance by Sri Lankan to show guts after a poor tour of England. As a result Australia was dethroned from the number 1 ranked team in test matches. Here we look at the 5 lessons learnt from Sri Lanka vs Australia test series.
- Australia inability to play spin
The Australian batsmen are not good players of spinners in conditions which suits the spinners. In the test series against Sri Lanka, the lack of application showed on the part of Australian batsmen. In the 3 match test series, only 2 batsmen scored centuries and none of the batsmen looked comfortable against spinners. Ragana Herath, Perera and Sandkan were special. Hearth was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka with 28 wickets. In the last 3 test series in Asia, Australia has been whitewashed in all occasions. They have lost 9 successive test matches in Asia.
- Young Sri Lankan batsmen stepping up
Before this series, nobody gave Sri Lanka to win the test series against the former number 1 ranked team. Sri Lankan young batsmen stepped on important occasions. In the second innings of first test match at Pallekele Kusal Mendis played a match winning knock of 176 which helped Sri Lanka to register one of their best wins. In the second test match at Galle, Kusal Mendis showed his class with wonderful 86 in the first innings. Despite the Sri Lankan top order struggling for runs, Chandimal and young batsmen Silva scored a brilliant ton to rescue Sri Lanka from 26 for 5 in the first innings. In the second innings of third test match Kusal Silva scored a ton. The young Sri Lankan batsmen stepped up under important situations.
- Mitchell Starc the lone warrior for Australia
In the 3 match test series against Sri Lanka, left arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers for Australia. Starc picked wickets with the new ball and also took wickets with old ball. He finished with 24 wickets and second leading wicket taker in the series. None of other bowlers did not give support to Starc which led to Australia being whitewashed. Mitchell Starc made the new ball swing. He picked 3 five wickets haul in the test series but none of the bowlers gave him full support.
- Great show by Sri Lankan team
After a disappointing tour of England, the Sri Lankan team showed great character and played some wonderful cricket. Whenever Sri Lankan team were in trouble, every player contributed. The fielding in the series was from Sri Lanka was brilliant. Sri Lankan team fought well and richly deserves to win the series 3-0. Sri Lanka played positive cricket in the entire series and put pressure on Australian spinners. Angelo Mathews captained the team very well and was under pressure to deliver after a poor England tour.
- Australian spinners are not able to deliver
Like the Sri Lankan spinners who were outstanding in the series, Australian spinners leaked lot of runs and did not put enough pressure on Sri Lankan batsmen. Nathan Lyon picked wickets but could not control flow of runs. Jon Holland who played the last 2 test matches was impressive at times. Steve O Keefe who played the first test match also showed inconsistency with his bowling. Apart from Mitchell Starc, the spinners did not bowl right line and length on these type of pitches.