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Marsh a chance for third Test in Colombo

AAP logoAAP 9/08/2016 Will Knight

The crushing nature of Australia's two Test losses in Sri Lanka and some demoralising modes of dismissal will weigh heavily on the tourists' selectors over the coming days in Colombo.

The third Test starts at Sinhalese Sports Club on Saturday, and Australia are poised to make at least one change following emphatic defeats in Kandy and Galle.

Mitchell Starc's 11-wicket haul was the only positive to come out of the 229-run mauling in Galle, which saw the Steve Smith's side blasted out in 33.2 overs for 106 in the first innings - their lowest score against Sri Lanka.

The only reserve batsman in the touring party, Shaun Marsh, is a good chance of breaking into the side.

The left-hander can bat anywhere in the top six, but is likely to replace under-fire opener Joe Burns or struggling No.3 Usman Khawaja.

Burns (34 runs at 8.50) and Khawaja (55 at 13.75) have had a rotten run in their four innings.

Burns failed to get past the first over in both innings in Galle while Khawaja's dismissal in the second innings when he shouldered arms first ball and was bowled by Dilruwan Perera suggested he's down on confidence against Sri Lanka's spinners.

It's a far cry from the pair's form over the Australian summer when they piled on the of runs against New Zealand and the West Indies.

Burns made 170 and 65 only three Tests ago against the Kiwis in Christchurch while Khawaja made scored 174, 121, 144 and 140 over three-and-a-bit months.

Sri Lanka has been a brutal examination for visiting batsmen and the selectors - coach Darren Lehmann and Rod Marsh - may feel they need to take a stand.

Marsh made a century on Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2011 in Kandy and backed it up with 81 and 18 at SSC the following match.

Lehmann was asked if Marsh was a chance of being picked in the XI in Colombo.

"Yep, well anywhere from one to six, everyone in the squad will be considered," he said.

"That's what happens when you don't have the results you would like, we will need to have a look at the wicket, sum it up and go from there."

The bowling attack of Starc, Josh Hazlewood and spinners Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland is likely to be retained, while Mitch Marsh's allrounder spot is possibly under threat.

He's failed to break through for a big score at No.6, although he's looked like one of Australia's best and his medium-pacers have been steady.

NSW allrounder Moises Henriques is in the 15-man squad.

"You don't like dropping anyone, you feel for them when they don't play as well as they would like," said Lehmann.

"That's the hardest thing as a coach and a selector, you have to make tough decisions sometimes... selection is going to be tough and tight for this one."

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