Watercooler Talk: Sri Lanka vs Australia, 3rd Test, Colombo
Welcome to The Sledge’s cricket Watercooler Talk for the third test between Sri Lanka and Australia at Colombo.
Here are four things you can talk about at work, at the pub or on a tram if you’re caught by one of those crickety-ones and stuck for conversation.
Talking point #1: Sri Lankan roast Duck
To recap: the Aussies are two-zip down in this series, having been flogged in the two tests thus far. The big question is, having flown him half way around the world at the last possible moment to debut in this series, will the Aussies ever pick Jon “The Duck” Holland again, in *any form of international cricket?*
We published an article this week, asking if Australia chose the wrong backup spinner for this series, but regardless of whether or not he was the man for the job, Jon Holland was picked, he did his best having been tossed further off the deep end than Sandra Bullock in Gravity, and he may never be picked again for Australia after his whirlwind trip to and from Sri Lanka. And lets be honest Cricket Australia, that’s a long way for a Duck to fly. No wonder he didn’t bowl well – his wings must’ve been killing him.
Pardon the duck puns, but it makes me wonder about the Australian spin pecking order; is Fawad Ahmed too old? Did he get spanked in too many warm up games before overseas test tours? I get that Ashton Agar is injured, and Mitchell Swepson is too young, but what about Adam Zampa? He averages fifty-plus in first-class cricket, but he’s the only Australian spinner taking consistent wickets *anywhere in the world* right now.
#2: Spin cycle
Speaking of spinners, here’s a talking point for you: what percentage of Aussie wickets will fall to the spin trio of Herath, Perera and Sandakan? At the moment, Herath has fifteen wickets, Perera has eleven, and Sandakan has nine – and there are still twenty Aussie wickets to fall in this series! I’m not saying it’s gonna be like shooting fish in a barrel, but we do have some footage of Australian batsmen facing the Sri Lankan spinners here…
Traumatic. Oh, and speaking of trauma, how about the workload of this man?
#3: Question Starc over Aussie bowlers
Mitchell Starc has single-handedly saved Australia from *absolute humiliation* by taking seventeen wickets and bowling almost fifty-nine overs across two heavily condensed test matches. The only three blokes who’ve bowled more overs than Mitch are all spinners. So, Mitch, if you’re watching this, I’ve got a website that’s probably relevant to you…
#4: Measure by Mendis
Speaking of working too hard, Sri Lanka’s 21-year old Kusal Mendis is currently averaging a tick over 69 in this series. He has made 277 runs across four innings. The staggering thing is that both of these figures are more than DOUBLE the next best, Dhananjaya de Silva and Angelo Mathews.
In fact, he’s so good, instead of using averages to benchmark batsmen, I’m gonna compare them to whole units of Mendis. De Silva, Matthews, and Steven Smith are all around half Mendis. Adam Voges and Mitchell Marsh are roughly a third Mendis, whilst poor Joe Burns is point-one-two (0.12) percent Mendis. Ouch.
I hope you guys enjoy the final test, I’ll see you before the one dayers start, and I hope Watercooler Talk has given you something to talk to your dumb mates about. Until next time, remember to watch the ball out of the bowlers hand and play straight!