Colombo: There is no substitute for match conditioning. This much was clear after the first Twenty20 between Sri Lanka and Australia in Kandy, as the hosts showed the benefits of a testing tour of England, as opposed to the training camps in Brisbane and net sessions in Colombo that served as the visitors' preparation for the tour opener. The Sri Lankans also showed far better knowledge of the conditions, bowling plenty of spin on a surface that offered turn, while Cameron White preferred to use his pace bowlers in the latter stages and saw them belted out of sight by his opposite number Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Australia's coach Tim Nielsen described it as a "frustrating" start to the tour, but there will be more gnashing of teeth in store for the tourists if they do not tighten their fundamentals and show a little more understanding of the conditions that confront them. Shaun Marsh and David Hussey in particular looked out of sorts against the accurate spin of Dilruwan Perera, while Mitchell Johnson's first spell of the tour was disheartening in its inconsistency. More encouraging was the bowling and batting of Steve O'Keefe, and the slugging power of David Warner.
Australia need to show the capacity to learn quickly from the reverses of the first match, while Sri Lankan will seek to extend a psychological advantage.