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Sri Lanka will put their probable Test XI on show

The Sri Lankans will put their probable Test X1 on show against Queensland when they meet in a three-day encounter at the Allan Border Field, beginning tomorrow.

Muttiah Muralitheran who is the talk of the town, will be rested for this game. He had a good bowl in Adelaide and the selectors here would not want to risk him.

There was rain overnight, but the wicket was covered. At the time of writing, the sun is shining and it is possible that the umpires will call ‘play’ at the scheduled starting time.

This game will be of great importance to the Lankans and it is paramount that they come out with an impressive performance.

This is the only game that the Lankans have to get their act together and show that they could take on the strong Australians in the Two Test matches, and give them a run. How the wicket will play cannot be predicted. With the wicket being covered there is bound to be the early moisture and the life of batsmen would not be easy.

Chaminda Vaas on whom a lot will depend and slinger Lasith Malinga will have their first bowl. Both bowled at full pace at the nets and concentrated on line and length.

Vaas will rely on movement, while Malinga will attempt to acclimatise and get his line right, so that he can hurl his hard to detect missiles at the Aussie batsmen.

The Lankans had another net, and would probably name the playing eleven on the morning.

Sanath Jayasuriya who massacred the Chairman’s X1 bowling in Adelaide, where fours and sixes flew from his bat like sparks from a welder’s gun, is running a slight temperature, but told me that he should be okay, come match starting time.

With the unfortunate injury to Kumar Sangakkara, the batting will be terribly weakened. It is likely that Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya would open, experimenting with the tall Michael Vandort as first drop.

If Vandort clicks, then the selectors would heave a sigh of relief and hope that he would continue that way in the Test. If he fails the selectors would be up a gum tree.

The one drop slot is the only headache that the selectors are facing now.

The ‘Bulls’ as the Queenslanders are called could leave out prolific scorer Matthew Hayden and play Andrea Symonds, Michael Johnson and Shane Watson, with Jimmy Maher and Simpson to add muscle to the batting.

The paceman to watch will be A. Nofike who is challenging strongly for a place in the national side.

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