Colombo: The series is less than a week old, but it will be decided by Tuesday night if Australia continue their winning form after comfortably taking the first two matches. The eight-wicket victory in Hambantota on Sunday was almost a carbon copy of the opening win in Pallekele: Sri Lanka won the toss and batted poorly, failing to see out their overs, and then couldn't build any pressure on Australia in the chase. They must find their batting mojo if they are to keep the series alive heading in to the Colombo, where the final two matches will be played.
Sri Lanka's problem has been finding the right tempo. In the opening game, they went too hard and in the second match they were too cautious. Perhaps it will be third time lucky. Kumar Sangakkara looked solid in making a half-century on Sunday but he needs support from the three other key members of the top order: the openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga, and the No. 4 Mahela Jayawardene. Maybe when Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga and company have a decent target to defend they can impart some pressure on Australia's batsmen.
For the visitors, all has gone swimmingly, apart from Brad Haddin's struggle for form at the top of the order. Wickets have come from Doug Bollinger, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee, and the spinners have done their job of keeping things tight. Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke have all been in the runs, and overall the side has been much more switched on than Sri Lanka. The question is, how will they fare if Sri Lanka find their spark?