Australia to tour Sri Lanka after five years
Australia will play their first Test series in Sri Lanka in more than five years, with a three-match series beginning on July 26 in Kandy.
The Australians will embark on a two-month tour of the island nation from July 11, playing three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 Internationals.
Steve Smith's side leapfrogged India in February to finish the latest 12-month period in first spot on the ICC Test Championship table, while Sri Lanka have dropped to seventh place after a disappointing year following the retirements of legendary batting duo Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena.
Only three members of the Australian side that beat the Black Caps in their most recent Test series – Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle and Usman Khawaja – have experienced Test cricket in Sri Lanka.
That was when Australia toured in August 2011 for what was Michael Clarke's first full series as captain, with the men in Baggy Green emerging victorious from the three-match series 1-0.
Overall, Australia's record in Sri Lanka reads: 13 Tests – six wins, six draws, one loss; 25 ODIs – nine wins, 13 losses, 3 no results; two T20Is – two losses.
Despite a poor year for Sri Lanka, opening batsman Joe Burns was under no illusions as to the sort of challenge they present in their own conditions.
"Playing spin in Australia, some of the southern states, for example Sydney, you might come across spinning conditions, but when you're facing world-class spinners in their own backyard on turning wickets, it's a different proposition," Burns said.
"Potentially there are different game plans. I've played enough now in a lot of different countries that you can go into a country with an idea of how the game of cricket is played, but you get there and realise there's totally new fields (set) you haven't seen before, and they're trying to get you out in different ways with different tactics.
"I've never been to Sri Lanka. (There's) some preconceived ideas of what the conditions might be like, but I'm open-minded and looking to learn and improve my game as much as I can," he said.
AUSTRALIA'S TOUR OF SRI LANKA
July 26-30: First Test, Pallekele
August 4-8: Second Test, Galle
August 13-17: Third Test, Colombo
August 21: First ODI, Colombo
August 24: Second ODI, Colombo
August 28: Third ODI, Dambulla
August 31: Fourth ODI, Dambulla
September 4: Fifth ODI, Kandy
September 6: First T20I, Kandy
September 9: Second T20I, Colombo