You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Aust positives from Lanka cricket tour

AAP logoAAP 10/09/2016 Pete Smith

Australia's positive end to an otherwise disappointing tour of Sri Lanka may lead to increased competition for spots in different formats of the game.

Australia failed to cope with Sri Lanka's spin-attack and the local conditions, crashing to a 3-0 Test series defeat against a side who'd earned one previous win against the Aussies in 33 years.

But Australia, fielding a partly different line-up from the Test series, secured a 4-1 One-Day series win and followed up by winning both Twenty20 internationals.

The two-month tour concluded on Friday with Glenn Maxwell starring for the second successive match, his powerful knock of 66 helping Australia to a four-wicket win.

Several players who arrived after the Tests performed with distinction in the shortened versions of the game.

Batsman George Bailey, destructive allrounder Maxwell and leg-spinner Adam Zampa each impressed, having not been included during the Test series.

And with an eye on the four-Test tour of India early next year, selectors are mindful of those players who proved themselves on the sub-continent.

"All performances for Australia count and that's really important," said Australian coach Darren Lehmann.

"Play well is all you can do and put your name in lights, certainly in the one-day format."

Bailey was named player of the one-day series with a leading average of 67, while Zampa bowled consistently well in the middle of the innings.

Maxwell scored a career-best 145 not out in the first Twenty20 as Australia reached a world record 2-263 before backing up with a second player of the match performance on Friday.

And Lehmann said players have previously earned Test selection based on one-day form.

"We've certainly done that before when George Bailey played really well in India and got picked in the Ashes home series a few years back," he said.

"Obviously we didn't play as well as we would've liked (in the Tests) and some of the guys struggled with the conditions here.

"Those one-day guys have come in and they've performed really well and that's impressive."

Despite Australia's success in the latter stages of the tour, their frailties in the middle-order continued, particularly against spin.

Australia also benefitted by the absence of Sri Lanka's leading spinner Rangana Herath who claimed a remarkable 28 wickets at an average of just 12 during the Tests.

Australia were so destabilised by the Test series loss that captain Steve Smith unexpectedly returned home midway through the one-dayers with the series at 1-1.

Opener David Warner assumed the reins for the first time and revelled in the role, albeit in a relatively low-key series.

"To bounce back the way we did throughout the one-day and Twenty20 series was a phenomenal achievement," Warner said.

"The conditions we faced were pretty challenging from a one-day batting point of view.

"It was good grinding cricket and we worked really hard to win both series."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon