First session crucial on day two in Galle

Scott BaileyAAP
Australia will resume the first Test at 3-98 with Usman Khawaja (l) and Travis Head at the crease.
Camera IconAustralia will resume the first Test at 3-98 with Usman Khawaja (l) and Travis Head at the crease. Credit: AP

Sri Lanka have identified Thursday's first session as crucial in putting the pressure back on Australia with the Galle Test evenly poised.

Australia will resume at 3-98 on day two in reply to Sri Lanka's 212, after the hosts lost three wickets in a chaotic final hour on Wednesday.

The tourists are known for losing wickets in clumps in Asia, with that a significant issue in their 3-0 flogging from Sri Lanka in 2016.

A difficult task also awaits batting fourth, given the Galle pitch will deteriorate and 65 per cent of all wickets at the ground fall to spin,

That in itself makes a first-innings lead crucial for Australia, something Sri Lanka are well aware of.

"If we come back tomorrow and take two quick wickets then Australia will be under pressure," coach Chris Silverwood said.

"Obviously we would have liked more runs in the first innings after having won the toss.

"(But) that's what we'll be looking to do (early on Thursday).

"Looking to get our disciplines better as a bowling attack, put pressure back on to Australia, and bowl them out to somewhere near us and bat better in the second innings."

Sri Lanka could already have taken an advantage into day two had they taken their chances late on Wednesday.

While David Warner fell lbw, Marnus Labuschagne was caught reverse sweeping and Steve Smith was furious after being run out, Australia were lucky not to be further down.

Niroshan Dickwella missed a chance to have Usman Khawaja stumped on 36, before the left-hander reached stumps unbeaten on 47.

It was an unfortunate end to the day for Dickwella, who had earlier been Sri Lanka's best with the bat with a counter-attacking 58 from 59 balls.

"They were very tough opportunities as well. Let's not kid ourselves with that," Silverwood said. "There was lot of turn and lot of bounce.

"Obviously you regret missing any opportunity, because it's going to cost you.

"We know he is a very good keeper. And he will do something at some part of the game that will change the direction."

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