REGROUPING: Australia's Steve Smith reacts after complaining about fading light on day four of the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele.
REGROUPING: Australia's Steve Smith reacts after complaining about fading light on day four of the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. Eranga Jayawardena

Smith looks to put spin on loss

CRICKET: The visiting Australians will look to regroup this week after their capitulation in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

But with the second Test to be played in Galle, starting Thursday, it won't be easy for the tourists.

After bundling the hosts out for just 117 on the opening day in Pallekele, the Aussies slumped to a 106-run loss. It was just their second loss to Sri Lanka, the first coming back in 1999.

"Galle is the biggest-spinning place here in Sri Lanka or so we've been told, so it's going to play a big part again,” Aussie captain Steve Smith said post-match.

Veteran spinner Rangana Herath claimed five second-innings wickets to finish with nine for the match.

"It is disappointing. I said before the game that we haven't played well in subcontinent conditions for quite a while now,” Smith (pictured) said.

"It's something that under my captaincy I want to change.

"There were glimpses throughout this game that we've improved in some aspects. But I think we just let ourselves down a lot as well.”

With Stephen O'Keefe ruled out with a hamstring injury, Jon Holland will play his maiden Test.

"Jon Holland is a class bowler,” Smith said.

"He's done pretty well in state cricket and having a left-arm orthodox bowler in these conditions is a must.

"We'll be working with him and I'm really excited for him to join us.”


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