Sri Lanka have only ever beaten Australia in a Test once, back in 1999, and all indications are that a win for the hosts will not be on the cards in the first Test in Pallekele either.
The countries have met 26 time over the years, with Sri Lanka winning by six wickets in Kandy nearly 20 years ago. Australia don't have a great record in Asia, winning just once (in Galle in 2011) in 15 Tests since 2008, but will be confident of changing that here.
They have opted for two spinners in Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe, with the latter taking 10 wickets in the warm up match in Colombo last week. The pace will be provided by a fit-again Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood, with Mitchell Marsh the third seamer.
Batting wise the Aussies have confirmed a strong line up, including Usman Khawaja at three, Adam Voges at five, and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill all the way down at seven. How well they cope with the spin will be the question.
Sri Lanka are pinning their batting hopes on skipper Angelo Mathews, while the spin of Rangana Herath will be their go-to bowling attack plan. With three of their best fast bowlers injured, it could be a long week for veteran Herath.
The Aussies have been all about 'patient' batting in the build up to this match, with even David Warner talking about the need to be cautious as the deck deteriorates, but one imagine they will look to punish the inevitable loose ball from the young Sri Lankan attack.
For the hosts, skipper Angelo Mathews is almost always the key player. With bat and ball, he often feels the pressure to perform, and he will be their great hope to get as much as a draw out of this.
The Aussies will look to start well with the bat, and Usman Khawaja at first drop will be vital in the event of an early wicket. He is one of the better players of spin, and has been in superb form for the past year.
Last Five Head-To-Head Results
2013 Third Test: Australia won by five wickets in Sydney
2012/13 Second Test: Australia won by an innings and 201 runs in Melbourne
2012/13 First Test: Australia won by 137 runs in Hobart
2011 Third Test: Match Drawn in Colombo
2011 Second Test: Match drawn in Pallekele
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal
Australia (confirmed): David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Steve O'Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Dates: 26-30 July
Morning session: 10:00-12:00 (04:30-06:30 GMT)
Afternoon session: 12:40-14:40
Evening session: 15:00-17:00
On-field umpires: Richard Kettleborough, S Ravi
Third umpire: Chris Gaffaney
Match referee: Chris Broad
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