As we get closer to the toss, we will know how Travis Head’s hamstring is coming along. I believe that whether Head plays or not will have a flow on effect as to who gets selected as the final bowler.
Australia will want to include a second spinner in their lineup which is why they’ve recalled Victorian Jon Holland into the squad.
If Head is healthy I would imagine Swepson gets the nod as the second spinner over both Jon Holland and Matt Kuhnemann.
If unfit however, I believe that Maxwell will be enough of a second option and that would make room for Mr Line and Length himself, Josh Hazlewood.
If you’re looking for a Head to Head tip, I’m going with the Aussies, they are the Number 1 Test Nation in the world and if the One Day pitches are anything to go off, there will be plenty of wickets falling.
There is rain predicted for the first 3 days of play so a draw could also be a good shout, but if you back a draw in a Test and you’re praying for rain, you are a wet blanket and I don’t what you reading my tips – get out of here.
Back Australia to Win @ $2.38
If you’re looking for a Sri Lankan to cheer for, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne is in a lovely vein of form at Test level.
In his last 5 Tests he is averaging a huge 63.75 runs and is the $4 favourite to be Sri Lanka’s highest runscorer in the first innings.
Be wary though, Karunaratne has struggled against the Aussie bowlers in the past and averages just 17.18 when he plays them.
Mitchell Starc dismissed him 5 times in the 2016 series for an average of 3.80 and it’s looking like the big left armer will be back in action and raring to go.
Back Dimuth Karunaratne as Sri Lanka’s Top 1st Innings Run Scorer @ $4.00
There’s plenty of Aussie Batsmen I like in this one and there’s arguments to be made for all of them, but I can’t go past Usman Khawaja.
He’s coming off a monster series in Pakistan where his lowest score in 5 innings was a lousy 91, he averaged 165.33 that series and 125.17 across the Pakistan & Ashes series.
Khawaja has proven he can dominate in the sub continent and I’m backing him to go big again in this first innings.
Back Usman Khawaja to Score a 1st Innings Hundred @ $6
It’s hard to look past the Aussie Captain and the #1 Ranked Test Bowler in the world, Pat Cummins. If we do opt for Swepson, a lot more of the pace bowling responsibility will rest on the shoulders of Cummins and I’d imagine he’ll be opening the bowling with Mitchell Starc.
Cameron Green would probably play a role as our 3rd Seamer but I believe that Pat Cummins over 2.5 Wickets in the 1st innings at $2.25 is huge value.
Pat is one of not many you can perform in any conditions and it’s not often he finishes with only two in an innings.
Back Pat Cummins Over 2.5 1st Innings Wickets @ $2.25