Cummins happy to have 'luxury' Swepson option in Galle Test series opener

By Sports Desk June 28, 2022

Pat Cummins is excited to have the "luxury" of being able to call upon Mitchell Swepson in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Australia captain Cummins has confirmed leg-spinner Swepson will play when the two-match series gets under way at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday.

Swepson made his debut in the longest format during the series victory in Pakistan in March, taking two wickets in as many matches.

With Ashton Agar ruled out due to side strain and Jon Holland nursing a finger injury, the 28-year-old will get another opportunity in a Test that will be dedicated to the late, great Shane Warne four months after he tragically passed away.

Skipper Cummins said: "We're really happy with Swepo. He is bowling beautifully and really ready for this one.

"These conditions … it's quite different to what we experience in Australia. That's the challenge of trying to win overseas.

"A lot of our preparation work has been around trusting our own methods. We might go about it a little bit differently to how Sri Lanka will."

The paceman added: "I think his role here might be slightly different as well. Pakistan we knew was going to be a slow grind and I thought he did his job despite not taking the wickets he would like. He was a really important cog in that bowling engine.

"It's always exciting having a leggie in the side as a captain. It feels like a real luxury to throw him the ball and see him go about it."

Glenn Maxwell could provide another spin option along with first-choice tweaker Nathan Lyon if Travis Head misses out with a hamstring injury.

If World Test Championship leaders Australia take a 1-0 lead in their quest to win the Warne-Muralidaran Trophy, it will be their 400th Test victory. However, Sri Lanka have won each of their past three Tests against Australia on home soil.

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh 1-0 away from home in their last Test series under new head coach Chris Silverwood.


Sri Lanka looking to put Australia in a spin

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne suggested Sri Lanka will select three spinners, with the uncapped Jeffrey Vandersay called up after impressing in a 3-2 ODI series win over Australia.

Lasith Embuldeniya, Praveen Jayawickrama and Ramesh Mendis are the other tweakers in the squad.

Sri Lanka have won eight of their past 12 Tests at Galle International Stadium, including the previous two.

Landmark Test for in-form Khawaja 

Usman Khawaja has had a new lease of life since he was recalled during the 4-0 Ashes hammering of England.

The left-handed batter is set to play in his 50th Test in Galle on the back of an outstanding series in Pakistan - scoring two centuries and making 97 in the first Test.

Khawaja has an average of just 28.4 against Sri Lanka – his second lowest against any team he's played more than one Test against. 

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