Pallekele, Sri Lanka: Australia surprised many people by outplaying Sri Lanka in their own conditions in Galle, even if the dusty pitch did mean the toss played a significant role in the outcome. Now, Michael Clarke can rack up his first series victory if the team backs up with another strong performance in Pallekele. It's nearly 18 months since the Australians have won a Test series, the last time being on their tour of New Zealand in March 2010. Much has changed for Clarke since then; on that trip, he was followed by tabloid reporters and TV cameras after his much-publicised break-up with Lara Bingle. In one sense, those days must seem a lifetime ago for Clarke, but he's also acutely aware that he hasn't made a Test century since that New Zealand series. But his second-innings 60 was key to Australia's victory in Galle, and he certainly outperformed his opposing captain, Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Dilshan was the prime culprit in Sri Lanka's top-order failure in the first Test. In the first innings he was caught slashing wildly in the second over and in the second innings he disregarded the difficult conditions and left an enormous gate between bat and pad, and was not surprisingly bowled by a ball that jagged back off the seam. It was not a sight that would have impressed one of Dilshan's captaincy predecessors, Arjuna Ranatunga, who dished out a stinging rebuke to the team in the wake of the defeat.
''I'm not really sure if [Sri Lanka] are focused enough to play the longer version," Ranatunga told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I am very disappointed with the commitment of most of the players, in particular I am really worried about a couple of the batsmen and their commitment to the longer version of the game. I think we look much better than Australia on paper, but they are more committed." Ranatunga went on to describe the non-selection of Ajantha Mendis in Galle as "unbelievable", although it seems likely Mendis will play in Pallekele.