Almanac Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka – Second Test from Manuka Oval, Canberra

The second Test of the Australia v Sri Lanka series, the last of the Australian summer, gets underway at Manuka Oval in Canberra later this morning. It’s fair to say that the build-up has been as lacklustre, perhaps even moreso, than it was for the first Test of the series in Brisbane a fortnight ago.


In fact, the build-up has been so low key that, at the time of writing, there hasn’t even been a Shane Warne rant about Mitchell Starc. Now that is saying something. Perhaps the morning press will prove us wrong. Instead, there’s been greater emphasis placed on ructions within the Sri Lankan camp with regard to their ODI team in the lead-up to this year’s World Cup – and even that based on comments from a Sri Lankan WAG! O me miserum!


What we do know is that Australia will take an unchanged team into this match (no surprises there) which means that Will Pucovski and Marcus Stoinis will have to wait for their Test debuts until at least the Ashes series in England later in the year, if then. So why was Stoinis called into the squad? Is it a message to Mitch Marsh that he’d better look for a county cricket contract, along with Matt Renshaw, during our winter? At least they’d be on hand if needed to cover for injuries/loss of form during the tour.


And what of Peter Siddle, ageing 12th man extraordinaire? What’s the message for him? What about Chris Tremain, Chad Sayers, Jackson Bird et al? Hopefully they’re getting some behind-the-scenes communication from the selectors about where they stand.


Perhaps at the end of this Test we should run a comp to ‘Pick The Ashes Squad’. Let’s go for a squad of 17 but, just in case it turns out to be only 16, make sure you 17th named player is your designated 17th selection. Who wants to be first in?


Meanwhile, reports yesterday that CA thought about a 72-match BBL season for 2018/19 tells us all too much about priorities, methinks. Lege et lacrima!


As always, here at the Almanac, we’re looking for someone to give us daily coverage of the Second Test. Please register your interest asap.


(We feel for Tim Paine who has to toss the coin yet again. He’s ‘lost’ a lot of tosses but, to be fair, this will be at least the sixth occasion on which he has to let the other skipper make the actual call. No prizes for what the winner will choose to do.)


Late Footnote: We spoke too soon. SKW has maintained the rage, saying that Starc is getting ‘worse and worse’, shouldn’t be in today’s team and won’t play in the first Ashes Test in England. Don’t hold back, Warnie!






  2. I believe Citrus Bob has driven from 45 degree Mildura to Canberra – and the cool change has arrived.I hope you packed a cardy Citrus.

  3. Let’s hope Mitch Starc forgets his scatter gun tactics and tries to hir the stumps. Last test he sure gave Paine plenty of diving practice. Also let’s hope we won’t need a pair of streakers from the Mitch Starc fan club (Starkers) to liven up this match It would be a sorry day should that happen..Thankfully we haven’t seen idiots like this race onto the oval for yonks.

  4. I’d be quietly confident that this is the first Test partnership of players whose names are both verbs and nouns each getting a century ( and in respect of Head, of course I’m ONLY thinking of the body part above the shoulders as the noun and “ to head them off at the pass” as an example of the verb).

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