David Warner and Josh Hazlewood missed Australia's only-tour match against Sri Lanka XI     Getty Images
David Warner and Josh Hazlewood missed Australia’s only-tour match against Sri Lanka XI Getty Images

Australian head coach Darren Lehmann has revealed he is optimistic that star players David Warner and Josh Hazlewood will be fit to play against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Kandy. Both Warner and Hazlewood missed Australia’s only tour match against Sri Lanka XI. Warner, the vice-captain of the team, had broken his left index finger during the fourth match of the Tri-Nation series against South Africa. Since then, he has been nursing the blow, and has been working his way back. As for Hazlewood, he was rested for the tour-match, considering he featured heavily in all the formats for Australia in the past year or so. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs Australia, 1st Test match

Lehmann, back at the helm after handing over coaching duties to Justin Langer in Tri-Nation series, was quoted by cricket.com.au as saying, “He’s been batting the last couple of days so I can’t see a problem. I assume he’ll bat, I haven’t really spoken to the medical staff but they normally come up to me if there’s some sort of issue so we’re expecting him to play.”

He also spoke about Hazlewood’s situation, and predicted the pacer to ready for the first Test. “He’s had a fair bit [of cricket], he’s been in the West Indies and played the two-dayer and had a good bowl there,” the Bupa Support Team head coach said.

“And having a look at the [Colombo] wicket, it’s probably not what we’re going to get in Kandy, there will probably be less grass than that so [we’ll] give him a bowl on the flatter wickets there. He’s fine and ready to go, [we’re] just making sure he’s right.”

The series will mark the return of Mitchell Starc in Test cricket after nearly eight months. The left-arm pacer suffered a ankle injury in November 2015 against New Zealand. Speaking about his display in the tour match, Lehmann said, “Obviously he was a bit rusty and then a little bit rusty [in this match]. But he gets early wickets and he bowled a lot better today with the new ball.”