Selecting the Australian Cricket Team’s Starting XI ahead of the 2nd Test on Friday v Sri Lanka

by Sports Benches

It’s a tough & great question as to who should play in the 2nd Test on Friday in Canberra for Australia.

Depending on the pitch, if it’s flat, then Australia would need an all-rounder to ease the workload upon the bowlers.

Otherwise, they would keep most of the winning squad with one change made to make the most out of the opportunity.

Opening Batsmen

First of all, Joe Burns cannot go despite his contribution of 15 over the past few days.

Burns still has a significant role to play both with the bat & on the field having taken three catches in the 1st Test:

  • One in the 1st Innings
  • Two in the 3rd Innings

So the Opening spots are covered alongside Marcus Harris who also performed well over the last five Tests.

2018-19 Domain Tests: Australia v Sri Lanka 1st Test, Third Session Review of Day 1 at The Gabba in Brisbane

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That’s why the selectors released Matt Renshaw so he can resume his duties with Queensland and Brisbane Heat.

Top to Middle Order

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Usman Khawaja has to be the likely man at risk as he’s isn’t in good shape at recent times.

After Australia gave him many chances including the Opening spot in Sydney this summer, it’s best to give someone another chance.

So you’re looking at a shuffle between the top and middle order for this 2nd Test.

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Marnus Labuschagne gets his spot back at No.3 followed by Travis Head in the No.4 position.

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They too formed a brilliant partnership as well as scoring each a half-century.

Kurtis Patterson will have another chance to shine at Five as he eyes to make more runs.

Plus Patterson can change their fielding to the next level thanks to his one hand diving catch.

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Yes, he may begin scoring 30 on his debut.

But you cannot drop Patterson too early after his years of hard work as an established player in Domestic Cricket.

The Mystery No.6 Position

It’s a tie between Will Pucovski and Marcus Stoinis.

At last, Australia found a decent seaming all-rounder in place who knows how to hit big as well as the need to take wickets.

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You cannot ignore Stoinis in this regard as he deserves this call-up to play in Canberra.

How does Will Pucovski & Peter Siddle benefit the Australian Cricket Team despite not playing?

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If not, they should stick with Pucovski.

Though if this pitch cannot be flat and since Sri Lanka has a depleted squad, it’s best to throw Pucovski in the starting XI.

Who knows?

Pucovski can make something special to make an impact such as quickly scoring the 50s.

As long as Pucovski doesn’t hit too much in the air and using a lot of the safe shots, then he should be fine.


If there were a straight answer, Stoinis would be ready made to shine on his Test debut in Canberra.

It’s all about the experience.

Stoinis isn’t far away from age 30 while people still regarded Pucovski as the future of Australian Cricket.

Well, Pucovski can gain experience in foreign conditions first as long as he has a Cricket Australia before returning home as a better player.

What happens if Pucovski didn’t do well in a future Overseas Tour without experience in different conditions?

Aiden Markram is one example who has fallen in this trap v Sri Lanka on their turf despite doing so well at home for South Africa.

No other bright young gun should go there and risk their spot so Australia will treat Pucovski with great care.

Though, I would be a bit surprised if Pucovski played on Friday as Australia wouldn’t need an extra bowler to take on a weakened Sri Lanka squad.

But for now, Stoinis gets the nod over Pucovski.

Lower Order

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Lyon will all retain their spots from No.7 to No.11.

There’s no need to change in the wicket-keeper position.

Paine did very well behind the stumps including this sublime stumping on Suranga Lakmal on the final wicket of the 1st Test.

Pat Cummins continues to shine having taken ten wickets in one match as Australia see him as their unsung hero.

He deserved the Man of The Match Award who helped this country win on Australia Day.

Mitchell Starc will still need to do well despite joining the 200 wickets club in the history of Test Cricket.

Jhye Richardson continues to make the ball click having swung it fast and straight to scare off the batsman.

And at last, Nathan Lyon who continues to play a lead role among the spinners.

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Final Planned Starting XI

  1. Marcus Harris
  2. Joe Burns
  3. Marnus Labuschagne
  4. Travis Head, Vice-Captain
  5. Kurtis Patterson
  6. Marcus Stoinis
  7. Tim Paine, Wicket-Keeper & Captain
  8. Pat Cummins, Vice-Captain
  9. Mitchell Starc
  10. Jhye Richardson
  11. Nathan Lyon


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Here’s your planned Australia 2nd Test Team for Friday.

You can see a mix of youth and experienced batting department as well as an all-rounder in place.

Marcus Stoinis will be there in case Cummins, Starc & Richardson looked huff and puff mid-match.

Plus the fast bowling cartel, Nathan Lyon and Tim Paine retain their places.

Now, Australia is well prepared to win this Test Match & Series.

With no need to be negative, Australia can end the 2018-19 International Season on a positive note.

How good is that?

Once they take home both targets, Australia can look forward to welcoming back Steve Smith & David Warner with open arms.

And the whole country would move forward and go back to its former glory again.

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