Travis Head named for Australia as they bowl first in First Test against Sri Lanka in Galle

Scott BaileyAAP
Travis Head has overcome a hamstring injury and will play in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Camera IconTravis Head has overcome a hamstring injury and will play in the first Test against Sri Lanka. Credit: AAP

Travis Head has overcome a hamstring injury to play in Australia’s Test series opener against Sri Lanka in Galle, where the hosts won the toss and chose to bat first.

Head underwent a fitness test on Tuesday evening, and has since recovered from that without complaint.

It means Glenn Maxwell’s wait for a Test recall will continue, after last featuring in Australia’s red-ball side in Bangladesh in 2017.

Australia had previously confirmed that Mitchell Swepson would retain his spot as second spinner, with Josh Hazlewood the seamer to miss out.

Sri Lanka have again gone with four spinners and just the one quick, with right-armer Asitha Fernando acting as the sole seamer in the first of the two Tests.

Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay will debut, adding variety to an attack that includes finger-spinners Ramesh Mendis, Lasith Embuldeniya and allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva.

The hosts’ spinners took 54 wickets when they whitewashed Australia 3-0 in 2016, but chief destroyers Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera have since retired.

Australia also plan to bring a more attacking approach against Sri Lanka’s tweakers on this tour, desperate to unsettle them and their lengths.

Heavy rain had briefly fallen on Wednesday morning in Galle, and ground staff brought covers onto the field anticipating more 10 minutes before the toss.

SRI LANKA: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Angela Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Ramesh Mendis, Lasith Embuldeniya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Asitha Fernando.

AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (capt), Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson.

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