Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc picked up four wickets in the second innings of the 1st Test against West Indies.Reuters

Australia are all set to turn the tides against Sri Lanka when they square off in a three-match Test series at the latter's backyard, starting from Tuesday at Pallekele. Australia have managed to win just one out of their last 15 Test matches that they have played in Asia since 2004 and they are desperate to change the statistics this time. 

On the contrary, Sri Lanka also have never beaten Australia since 1999, when the hosts had won a Test series 1-0. After that series defeat, Steve Waugh-led Australia went on to win 16 Test matches in a row. 

Sri Lanka were whitewashed (3-0) at home in a Test series in 2004 despite the presence of Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene. 

Sri Lanka are going through a torrid time in be it any format of the international game. They were recently thrashed by England as well in a Test series. They will be needing a miraculously strong effort against the Australian blokes to emerge victorious in this Test series at home. 

Not to forget, Australia have never lost a Test match under the captaincy of Steve Smith and the world no.1 Test batsman will look to keep that record intact against a vulnerable Sri Lanka in the upcoming three-match series. 

Australia played a practice match against Milinda Siriwardana-led Sri Lankan XI. Stephen O'Keefe's 10-for crushed the home side by an innings and 162 runs. In this practice match, most of the Australian batsmen looked in good shape and form on the sub-continental wicket, which could have turned out to be tricky. It did turn out to be tricky but Sri Lankan XI faced the fire. 

This practice match could serve as warning for Angelo Mathews and co. as it was just a hint of what can come in this Test series. Sri Lanka should be wary of Australia's strengths and vise-versa. 


Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (C), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal.

Australia: Steve Smith (C), David Warner, Jackson Bird, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Stephen O'Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges.

Sri Lanka vs Australia Test series schedule:

Sri Lanka vs Australia 1st Test:

Dates: July 26-30, 2016. 

Venue: Pallekele.

Timings: (10am local, 05:30 am BST, 10am IST, 2:30pm Australian Time).

Sri Lanka vs Australia 2nd Test:

Date: August 4-8, 2016.

Venue: Galle.

Timings: (10am local, 05:30 am BST, 10am IST, 2:30pm Australian Time).

Sri Lanka vs Australia 3rd Test:

Date: August 13-17, 2016.

Venue: SSC Stadium, Colombo. 

Timings: (10am local, 05:30 am BST, 10am IST, 2:30pm Australian Time).

TV listings: India and sub-continent: Ten Sports. US: Willow TV. Australia: Fox Sports. UK: No coverage.