Sri Lanka will take on mighty Australia in the first Test of the three-match series at Pallekele on Tuesday. Sri Lanka are coming into this series after a disappointing England tour where they were handed defeats in both the ODI and the Test series.
The transition after the retirement of their legendary batting duo, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, has not been nice for Sri Lanka. They have struggled ever since and are yet to be back on their feet. They are vulnerable even on their own soil.
Angelo Mathews will have to lead this low-on-morale Sri Lankan side from the front and boost them up so that they come out all-guns-blazing against Australia.
On the other hand, Australia are yet to lose a Test match under the captaincy of Steve Smith and the skipper will look to keep that record intact. However, they don't have very happy memories playing in Asia.
"I think we've won one game out of our last 15 in the subcontinent. It's about making sure you have a plan from ball one as soon as you get out there and each individual is different," Smith was quoted as saying by Cricinfo ahead of the first Test match at Pallekele.
"So it's about doing it from ball one and making sure you have that plan and you're doing it the whole time. I think that's how you have to play in the subcontinent. You have to take different parts of the game, different tempos of the game along with you as well."
"There'll be times when they want to attack and you might get more scoring options and times when they want to be a bit more defensive. You have to be patient with that at the same time. The guys know what to expect, we've trained really hard being here the past two weeks and we're ready to go."
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have dropped Milinda Siriwardana from the squad for the first Test. Suranga Lakmal is also likely to sit out because of a hamstring injury.
Australia, on the other hand, have no injury concerns. They have confirmed their playing XI. Stephen O'Keefe will be featuring in the team as well on Tuesday.
Where to watch live:
The first Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia is scheduled to start at 10am local time (10 am IST, 2:30 pm Australian Time, 5:30 am BST) start. Ten Sports will be broadcasting the match in India and the subcontinents. Live Streaming option will be available on TenSports Live.
There will be no live TV coverage of the first Test match between Sri Lanka and Australia in UK.
Willow TV will show the match live in the US. Willow TV Online will stream the game live as well.
Fox Sports will telecast the match live in Australia. Foxtel Play will stream the same.