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'Our plans will work': Sri Lanka targets Australia Test sweep

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28th June, 2022
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Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has warned his team knows the formula to run through Australia, as they line-up four spinners in the first Test in Galle.

Karunaratne revealed on Tuesday his side would likely take the same approach they did in their 3-0 rout of Australia in 2016, playing just the one quick and relying on turn.

Sri Lanka’s spinners claimed 28 of 39 wickets in the one-dayers, running out 3-2 victors in their first ODI series win over Australia in 30 years. 

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Both matches in the Test series will be played on a Galle wicket known for spinning early, with Australia also taking two spinners into the series opener in Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson.

Much of the thought around the series has been the Tests could be wrapped up quickly, with no draws on the ground in its last 15 Tests.

And while Karunaratne said that would largely be up to how each side’s batters handle the spin, he was confident his spinners would be able to roll through the visitors.

“I think we have a good chance we can get them out because we saw how Australia handled spin during the one-dayers,” Karunaratne said.

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“So we have a pretty good plan and know we can do it in here also.”

Karunaratne did concede Australia looked an improved team from 2016, when the visitors passed 250 just once and the now-retired Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera took 43 wickets between them.

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“We have an idea of how the wicket is going to play and if we do our basics right we will be able to win,” Karunaratne said. 

“From the previous series we have learnt a lot about the Australians, the majority of whom are also in the present series. 

“Our plans against them will work out well in this series from the beginning till the end.”

But crucial also will be Australia’s plan to unsettle the hosts from the start of play on Wednesday.

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Much has been made of the way Herath was able to constantly hit the same length ball after ball, with small variations around his release point determining whether the ball will skid on or turn.

Australia’s players have therefore been given the freedom to take a proactive approach with the bat, encouraged to play an up-tempo style and move the game quickly.

“If you really simplify batting, batting is about going out there and scoring runs,” Australia coach Andrew McDonald said. 

“To score runs you have to have a method, and your method will change depending on the conditions you are in. 

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“Will there be some proactive shots? Will there be more reverse sweeping and sweeping than you will see in Australia? Yeah, that’s highly likely.”

© AAP

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