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Aussies have left mental scars: Hazlewood

AAP logoAAP 26/07/2016 Will Knight

Australia wasted no time in stamping their authority on a vulnerable Sri Lanka and Josh Hazlewood couldn't be happier.

The big quick took advantage of relatively rare good conditions for swing and seam on the island nation, leading the way with 3-21 as Australia ran through the home side for just 117 on day one of the first Test in Kandy on Tuesday.

The wicket at Pallekele Stadium was described as tacky by Hazlewood and Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews' decision to bat first backfired big time.

Knowing that the pitches to come in Galle and Colombo will be much drier than Kandy and hence a tough slog for the fast bowlers, Hazlewood was relieved that he and Mitchell Starc (2-51) were able to strike early blows against a Sri Lankan batting line-up low on confidence after a dismal tour of England.

After Australia had reached 2-66 at stumps on a rain-hit afternoon, Hazlewood was asked if the tourists had exposed a few mental demons for Sri Lanka.

"Yeah I hope so," he said.

"We don't know too much about these guys. We haven't played them a lot - especially our bowlers.

"I think we've worked out a few little things here and there in that innings so we'll look to keep on top of them with those plans throughout the whole series.

Speaking on the eve of the series, Australia skipper Steve Smith talked about his No.1-ranked team making a strong statement in Kandy against an inexperienced batting line-up who have struggled since the retirements of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

His bowlers could hardly have been more obliging.

Australia's third seamer Mitch Marsh didn't even get a bowl as spinners Stephen O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon chipped in with the other five wickets.

Eight of the Sri Lankan dismissals were either catches behind the wicket or LBWs which relects a ruthless bowling display.

"Anything you can get on the opposition is crucial," said Hazlewood.

"And if you can get it straight up after the first morning of a Test series and get on top of a few of their top-order batters, it does open up some scars hopefully for the back-end of the tour and on some not-so-friendly wickets for us quicks."

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