Australia pick two-man spin attack for Pallekele Test

Australia pick two-man spin attack for Pallekele Test
Nathan Lyon (right) needs five more wickets to reach 200-wicket milestone in Tests.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australian captain Steven Smith confirmed that the team will field a two-man spin attack consisting of Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Pallekele on Tuesday.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will be the front-line seamers while Mitchell Marsh will play the role of the all-rounder in the playing XI.

David Warner will partner with Joe Burns at the top of the order while Usman Khawaja, Smith and Adam Voges will make up the middle order while Peter Nevill will don the gloves.

Last week, Australian coach Darren Lehmann said that the team is likely to field a two-man spin attack if the conditions favour such a combination.

However, despite the current cloud cover and the rain forecast which has left the pitch in Pallekele under covers, Australia have picked both O’Keefe and Lyon.

Lyon will be heading into the first Test on Tuesday requiring five more wickets for reaching the 200-wicket mark in the format.

O’Keefe, on the other hand, will be playing the third Test match of his career, having played his two other games against Pakistan and West Indies in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

Australia XI: David Warner (vc), Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wkt), Steve O'Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon

© Cricket World 2016