Smith wants Australia batsmen to ‘reinvent’ game to avoid whitewash
Captain Steve Smith believes Australian batsmen will have to “reinvent” their game to avoid a whitewash in the third and final test against Sri Lanka beginning on Saturday.
The hosts have already clinched the series after back-to-back victories at Pallekele and Galle, with their spinners laying bare spin frailties of the tourists whose number one test ranking is at stake.
As they brace for another trial by spin, this time at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Smith spelled out what it would take to thwart the likes of Rangana Herath and Lakshan Sandakan.
“Looking at this wicket it looks like it’s going to take a fair bit of spin from day one,” Smith said on the eve of the match.
“So you have to be proactive in the way you play. You’ve almost have to reinvent your game to be successful on these surfaces.
“In Australia, you don’t get balls that are turning like they are here and skidding on, everything’s pretty consistent. So it’s finding a way, I guess, and getting outside your comfort zone.”
Left-arm spinner Herath has been the tormentor-in-chief, while left-arm Chinaman bowler Sandakan troubled them in Pallekele, while off-spinner Dilruwan Perera claimed 10 wickets at Galle.
Australia were yet to name their playing XI but Smith acknowledged his team would have to find a way to score runs against the hosts’ formidable spin attack.
“It might be about sweeping, or coming down the wicket or getting deep in your crease,” said Smith, who managed 120 runs in four innings to remain the team’s leading scorer in the series.
“Sometimes it’s easy to do in the (practice) nets and when you get out in the middle there are guys around the bat, there’s the pressure of the match and it’s a whole different ball game.
“It’s just having the courage and faith to sometimes take a risk you may not take in Australia, and different ways of thinking to get around different situations.
“So finding ways to get off strike and know where your boundaries are as well. That is something that the Sri Lankan batters have done pretty well.
“They’ve swept our spinners well, have reverse swept our spinners for boundaries and it’s been difficult to contain them.”