Australia v SL Test Live: Sri Lanka in trouble at the Gabba

Sport360 staff 15:30 24/01/2019
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Jhye Richardson.

Australian bowlers made a bright start to the day-night Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane, reducing the visitors to 106-8 before dismissing them for 144.

Debutant seamer Jhye Richardson opened his account in Tets cricket with the scalp of captain Dinesh Chandimal.

All bowlers – including Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon – were among the wickets as Sri Lanka struggled to put bat to ball.

Australia lost the preceding Test series to India 2-1 and added batsman Kurtis Patterson, opener Joe Burns and seamer Richardson to the side for the pink-ball Test.

Sri Lanka brought in batsmen Lahiru Thirimanne and Dhananjaya de Silva for the first of the two-Test series.

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Kurtis Patterson late addition to Australia squad for Sri Lanka Tests

Sport360 staff 18:13 21/01/2019
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Kurtis Patterson.

Australia made a late addition to their Test team, selecting in-form batsman Kurtis Patterson for the Sri Lanka series.

The 25-year-old New South Wales batsman was originally overlooked for the first Test which begins in Brisbane on Thursday.

However, after he scored back-to-back centuries for Cricket Australia XI against the visiting Sri Lankans in in Hobart last week, Patterson was made a last-minute addition to the squad as Australia look to beef up their batting line-up that failed to withstand the pressure exerted by India during their recent 2-1 Test series defeat at home.

National selector Trevor Hohns said Patterson had been “pushing his case for selection for some time”.

“We have been asking batters around the country to score hundreds if they want to be considered for selection,” Hohns said in a statement.

“Given Kurtis’ consistent performances for NSW and his two unbeaten centuries in last week’s tour match against our upcoming opponent, Sri Lanka, we believe he deserves to be added to the Test squad,” he added.

Australia’s batsmen had a poor Test series India as no home player reached three figures – the first time it has happened Down Under in a home series of four Tests or more since 1883.

The first Test, which is a day-nighter, starts Thursday in Brisbane while the second will be played in Canberra.

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Australia drop Marsh brothers, call up batting prodigy Will Pucovski

Sudhir Gupta 17:29 09/01/2019
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Will Pucovski.

Australia made wholesale changes to the Test team as they dropped Marsh brothers Shaun and Mitchell, while calling up young batting prodigy Will Pucovski for two Tests against Sri Lanka.

Australia lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to India 2-1 and the margin would have been 3-1 but for rain in the Sydney Test. Australia’s batting – without the banned Steve Smith and David Warner – wilted under the pressure created by India’s bowlers as not a single Aussie batsman reached three figures.

Other batsmen who were dropped were opener Aaron Finch and middle-order bat Peter Handscomb. Top order batsman Joe Burns was recalled and is likely to open the innings with rookie Marcus Harris, who looked good against India.

Talented left-handed batsman Matt Renshaw was also given another chance. All-rounder Marnus Labuschagne retained his spot, as did Travis Head.

National selectors decided not to tinker with the pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, which was off the boil against India.

Pucovski was the surprise selection. The 20-year-old scored a double century for Victoria last year – the first Australian under 21 to do so since Ricky Ponting. However, he has only played eight first-class matches because of mental health issues.

“Will Pucovski is an exciting young player who is making his mark in the Sheffield Shield. He is another player with a track record of making centuries,” said Hohns. The series begins with a day-nighter in Brisbane from January 24. The second Test starts from February 1 in Canberra.

Australia squad: Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Tim Paine (c, wk), Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle

Cricket Australia XI: Joe Burns (capt), Kurtis Patterson, Scott Boland, Jake Doran, Jon Holland, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Will Pucovski, Jason Sangha, Matt Renshaw, Chris Tremain

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