Top order has to click
Australias strength is in their top order and if they have a bad time of it, it’s pretty much game over. Since Watson decided breaking a nail isn’t that bad, he has been pretty fkn devastating. Brutal yet calm, his only fault lies in his brain farts after getting past 50. Ponting and Clarke have both looked in sublime form on tour so far. And Clarkes batting on these pitches will be vital to Australia putting up big scores. And then there is Hussey. His engine has purred but hasn’t gotten into 2nd gear yet. But test cricket is where Mr.Cricket feels most at home and you can be sure he will step up. With Haddin looking like he couldn’t bat to save his life, the onus is on the top 5 to get provide the scoreboard pressure.
Use the quicks in short spells
The Sri Lankan heat takes no prisoners, so Clarke would do well to plug one end with the token spinner and use the quick men in short, sharp bursts. This would achieve 2 things. Give the big men a chance to recover. And Clarke would readily have a pumped up fast bowler to call on. This is the ideal way to use guys like Johnson and Siddle on dead pitches. Because if they are at full tilt late in the day, shit will start to happen. Australia would be smart to go in with 4 quicks and 1 spinner because the quality of the spinners they have won’t worry the Sri Lankans. Harris, Johnson, Copeland, Siddle, Beer is what I’d go with. Clarke and Watson as back up.
Go hard at the Islanders
Sri Lankans dont enjoy the ball flying past our nose. So make sure it’s there more often than not. That not to say – get carried away and bang everything in, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to pepper the guys with the short stuff for an over or 2. It might mean the odd pull for 4, but it would make the the fuller balls more significant. A bit of chat and a bit of in your face stuff wouldn’t be wasted either. Sri Lanka depends heavily on their top heavy batting line up. And it can collapse in a pretty ugly way. A few early wickets might mean that Australia set up an early win
Break Sri Lanka early
Galle is bit of a Sri Lankan fortress in more than one sense of the word. Sri Lanka hardly ever lose at Galle. And going down 1-0 here could break SL for the rest of the series. Last time Aus played here, they brushed aside Sri Lanka. But times have changed.