A perfect pink ball record and a last-up Test series demolition against Australia has Sri Lanka in a positive mind-set ahead of their two Test series down under.
Despite recently being outplayed in a 1-0 series defeat in New Zealand, Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal says his side comes into the two Test series against Australia with confidence.
The Sri Lankan touring team will play a three-day game against a strong Cricket Australia XI starting at Blundstone arena in Hobart today.
The match will be played under day-night conditions with a pink ball to replicate the format for the First Gabba Test which starts the following Thursday.
The Sri Lankans have requested to use more than 11 players in the match, so it will not carry First Class status.
''We just want to give the batters a chance to get used to the conditions," Chandimal said.
"We're going to try out 13 or 14 players."
Chandimal pointed to Sri Lanka's perfect two-from-two record in pink ball Tests against Pakistan and more recently the West Indies.
"We all know when it comes to the pink ball it gives the bowlers an advantage, especially at night time.
"Our bowlers are in great shape, so if we can produce an innings of more than 300 from our batting group, we give ourselves a really good chance," he said.
Of further encouragement to the skipper is the fact that Sri Lanka defeated Australia 3-0 in the most recent Test series against the two countries in 2016.
Negating that promising form line is the fact that Sri Lanka has not won a Test match in Australia in 13 attempts dating back to 1989.
In a blow to Sri Lanka's chances in the series, their best performed batsman over in New Zealand - Angelo Matthews, has been ruled out of the Australian tour with a hamstring injury.
''This is a really good chance for our younger batsmen to perform.
"We all know how good Angelo is and we will certainly miss him.
"He did really well in the New Zealand series and has a lot of experience," Chandimal said.
The skipper indicated that his team had watched the Indian bowlers very closely in their recent series win over Australia and took some notes.
''The Indian bowling unit was really good, especially between overs 40 and 80 - that's why they won the series.
"As a team we want to do just as well as that,'' he said.
WHAT: Cricket Australia XI v Sri Lanka - Pink Ball Day-Night Tour Match
WHEN: THIS Thursday 17 - Saturday 19 January 2019
WHERE: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
FREE ENTRY - ALL SESSIONS - ALL DAYS
DAILY MATCH SCHEDULE
Gates Open: 1.30pm
Coin Toss: 1.30pm
Session One: 2-4pm
Tea Break: 4-4.20pm
Session Two: 4.20-6.20pm
Dinner Break: 6.20-7pm
Session Three: 7-9pm
Speaking on the CA XI, National Selector Trevor Hohns said:
“The CA XI squad is critical to our pathway system and continuing to harness identified talent at the highest possible level. The players in this squad are of interest to the National Selection Panel, as we look ahead to the World Cup and Ashes campaigns in 2019.”
Australia XI Squad
Joe Burns (c) - Queensland
Kurtis Patterson (vc) – New South Wales
Scott Boland – Victoria
Jake Doran (wk) - Tasmania
Jon Holland – Victoria
Marnus Labuschagne - Queensland
Michael Neser - Queensland
Will Pucovski - Victoria
Jason Sangha – New South Wales
Matt Renshaw - Queensland
Chris Tremain - Victoria
Charlie Wakim - Tasmania
Sri Lanka Squad
Kusal Janith Perera
Dananjaya De Silva