Australia might have taken a 1-0 lead against Sri Lanka in the ongoing two-match Test series, but their recent showing against India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy must be still haunting them as they look to register a series-clinching victory against Chandimal and company at Manuka Oval from Friday.
Having lost the closely fought Adelaide Test against India, Australia bounced back in Perth to register a thumping 146-run victory. However, the hosts failed to build on the momentum and conceded the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne by a huge margin of 137 runs.
Warning his troops against the complacency, Australia skipper Tim Paine while addressing the media ahead of the second Test, has highlighted the importance of maintaining a winning attitude and leaving no stone unturned for the opposition to bounce back.
“We’ve spoken a little bit about our attitude, the way we turn up for our two training sessions here and tomorrow morning,” Paine told reporters on Thursday. “We touched on how we had a great win in Perth against India and then I thought we turned up pretty poorly and really flat in Melbourne and started that Test match pretty ordinarily. But then you get a good side like India in front of you and we really couldn’t reel them back in.”
He continued, “It’s just been making sure our attitude to this Test is spot on and we’re leaving nothing to chance. If we do that, start as well as we can tomorrow and put Sri Lanka on the back foot where we finished in Brisbane. That’s been the message. A lot can change in six months but performances this summer will be taken into account, every Test match you play is really important, this one because we want to win the series, we haven’t won a series for a while.”
Australia annihilated Sri Lanka by an innings and 40 runs in the Test series opener at Gabba. The first-ever Test match at Manuka Oval will also serve as an opportunity for quite a few Aussie players to strengthen their claims for the all-important Ashes series in England later this year.
“Going forward we want to start building some momentum and having some guys that are performing around this group. Having said that there is plenty of opportunity for guys at the back end of the season for pressing their claims with the Dukes balls with a big series coming up, it will count toward that but it is not the be all and end all,” Paine said.