Sri Lanka lead the series 2-0 © AFP
Sri Lanka lead the series 2-0 © AFP

Stunned by spin. Yes, that’s what had happened to Australia as they were handed back-to-back defeats at the hands of Sri Lanka, in the first two matches of the three-Test series. If the loss 106-run loss at Pallekele was a trailer, the full movie procession at Galle perhaps had a hard-hitting script, where the margin of defeat was more than doubled. Registering their first series win for Sri Lanka against the visitors in 17 years, has not only left Australia demoralised, but has also put their No.1 Test ranking under threat from India, England and Pakistan. Now, the action moves to Colombo for the third and final Test, where perhaps, another rank-turner can be expected. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka  Vs  Australia , 3rd Test match at Colombo

Australia’s captain Steven Smith had not lost any Test as captain, before heading into the Lankan tour, with even Sri Lanka’s all-time great Muttiah Muralitharan, backing Australia to win. But two humiliating losses, from Angelo Mathews’ team, led by his spinners, has made their stay on the emerald island almost suffocating. Their batsmen have struggled, and have been tricked by straight deliveries rocking their stumps, and trapping them in front. What has hurt them even more is the fact that their spinners haven’t been anywhere close to the impact that Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath and Lakshan Sandakan have had. READ: Nathan Lyon admits Sri Lanka outclassed Australia in all areas

A clearly frustrated Darren Lehmann had all the right to lambast his players. When asked if there would be a changes in the team’s batting department, his reply was, “Well anywhere from one to six (in the batting order), everyone in the squad will be considered. That’s what happens when you don’t have the results you would like,” Lehmann said.

While bringing in Shaun Marsh in place of Joe Burns or Usman Khawaja could be on the cards, Australia might get in Nathan Coulter-Nile or Jackson Bird in place of Josh Hazlewood as well. Hazlewood has not been among the wickets, as opposed to his partner-in-crime Mitchell Starc who has made his performance do the talking on dry-pitches. Starc has been outstanding and has perhaps, fought a lonely battle.

Sri Lanka on the other hand, have turned their fortunes from the 2-0 Test series loss in England in spectacular fashion. Despite being bowled out for 117 in the very first innings of the series, they have reached a new high with their performance ever since. From Kusal Mendis’ maiden hundred in the first Test to Herath’s hat-trick and Perera’s all-round show in the second, they have made it count when it mattered the most, forcing Australia to go on their knees.

With the backing of their legends, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardena and others Sri Lanka would be aiming for history, a 3-0 whitewash of the Australians when the third Test gets underway at Colombo. They might stick to the same eleven, with their morale and confidence sky high. READ: Sri Lanka vs Australia: Sanath Jayasuriya urges hosts to aim for clean sweep

From Australia’s point of view, roping in their former batsman, Michael Hussey, an excellent player of spin might be a thing for the future, but as of now they need to avoid a 3-0 thrashing and retain their Test crown. A consolation win would atleast end a disastrous series on a good note, with obviously lot to ponder upon.

Squads:

Australia: Steven Smith(c), David Warner, Jackson Bird, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill, Stephen O’Keefe (ruled out), Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Jon Holland

Sri Lanka: Lakshan Sandakan, Angelo Mathews(c), Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal

Time: 10 AM IST, 04:30 AM GMT

(Karan Dewana reporter with CricketCountry, loves following and playing sports. He is a Team India fan and loves winning. Follow him on his twitter handle @karan13dewan)