Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test: Hosts eye historic series win as visitors look to re-establish dominance - Firstpost
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Sri Lanka vs Australia, 2nd Test: Hosts eye historic series win as visitors look to re-establish dominance


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Galle, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka are in no mood to let Australia off the hook as they look to follow up their first Test victory over the top side in 17 years, skipper Angelo Mathews said on Wednesday.

Speaking on the eve of the second Test in Galle, Mathews said last week's dramatic win in the series opener in Pallekele had banished the gloom in the home dressing-room after a string of defeats.

Sri Lanka will look to seal a historic series win over Australia when the take on the Aussies in the second Test in Galle AP

Sri Lanka will look to seal a historic series win over Australia when the take on the Aussies in the second Test in Galle AP

And Mathews said his team had a game plan for each of the tourists' leading batsmen who have struggled to adapt to the extra turn on Sri Lanka's pitches.

"The feeling is great in the camp after the beating we had got in the last six months," Mathews told reporters.

"The guys were feeling a bit down and after the win at Pallekele we have got that extra confidence and extra energy going into this Test."

Sri Lanka have endured a torrid 2016, losing their crown as T20 champions after being knocked out in the group stages, before a tour of England where they failed to win any of their nine internationals.

But they showed they remain a formidable side at home by beating Steve Smith's world number one side in Pallekele, thanks to a maiden century from Kusal Mendis and another five-wicket haul by their lead spinner Rangana Herath.

That victory was the first over Australia in a Test match since 1999 and they now have a chance of securing the three-match series with a game to spare, especially if Herath can cause more havoc on his favourite ground.

"We have got to be cautious and we can't write them off. They didn't get runs, but they are a dangerous top order," Mathews said.

"We can't let them off the hook and we need to be on our money from the start. It's tough to play spin here."

Smith was the only Australian to pass 50 in the match and they all struggled against Herath and fellow spinner Lakshan Sandakan.

"The coaches have come up with plans for each batsmen in their side," said Mathews, while warning against complacency.

"We have got to be cautious about their batsmen who haven't got runs. We have got to stick to the plans and good bowling will win us the game."

With seam bowler Nuwan Pradeep struggling to shake off a hamstring strain, Mathews said the uncapped Vishwa Fernando could make his debut.

Australia will definitely have to change their starting XI after Steve O'Keefe flew home with a pulled hamstring, with Jon Holland set to make his debut as a replacement.

Smith said Australia were determined to bounce back but admitted his team would "have to play a bit better than we did" in Pallekele.

Smith said Australia's batsmen would not only have to adapt to a dry track but also factor in the breeze from the nearby Indian Ocean.

"It's a big breeze here so we could get quite a lot of drift from the spin bowlers and I guess the batters just try to find a way to be successful in these conditions," he told reporters.

Australia's last outing to the sub-continent saw them lose all four Tests against India in 2013 and they also lost both matches when Pakistan hosted them for a two-Test series in 2014 in the Gulf.

In a bid to beat Sri Lanka at their own game, Australia have hired the island's most famous spin bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan, as a consultant.

"The guys have been working very hard to try and get used to these conditions as much as possible," said Smith.

"But having said that, out there in the middle with the extra pressure, guys around the bat, guys bowling well, it could be difficult to handle some times and we have to get better at handling that in the middle."

First Published On : Aug 3, 2016 21:14 IST

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