David Warner skittled after unforeseen sightscreen mishap

David Warner was clean bowled by a brilliant delivery from Sri Lanka's Kasun Rajitha, but some observers feel a dodgy sightscreen didn't help his cause. Pictures: Getty Images/Fox Cricket
David Warner was clean bowled by a brilliant delivery from Sri Lanka's Kasun Rajitha, but some observers feel a dodgy sightscreen didn't help his cause. Pictures: Getty Images/Fox Cricket

David Warner may come to regret not calling for a brief delay in play during the second Test against Sri Lanka, after was clean bowled in the first innings for just five runs.

Australia dominated the rain-affected first Test in Galle, with the hosts hoping to bounce back on the second go around.

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Their first stint in the field go away to a perfect start when Kasun Rajitha came around the wicket to Warner and beat his bat with a terrific ball that straightened up on the Aussie opener.

Warner's stumps were skittled and he was sent back to the sheds, but some observers felt Warner hadn't done himself any favours a few overs earlier.

A white sheet attached to the sightscreen had come slightly loose in several minutes earlier, altering the usually clean vision afforded to the batters.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat, with Warner departing at 1/15.

Fellow opener Usman Khawaja and first drop Marnus Labuschagne steadied the ship in the overs afterwards, but many questioned whether Warner should have asked for the sightscreen to be fixed.

Instead, when asked by the umpires, Warner had indicated he was happy to continue, despite the sightscreen now being more of a light-blue colour and parts of the white sheet flapping in the breeze.

“I admire David Warner because I know a number of batters who wouldn’t let play continue because of that... maybe he should have because that’s the end of him,” one commentator said.

Australia batting first in second Test against Sri Lanka

Australia had considered going with one pace bowler and an extra spinning allrounder in Glenn Maxwell, after a first Test where runs were at a premium and tweakers dominated.

But captain Pat Cummins, coach Andrew McDonald and chief selector George Bailey were met with a firmer wicket when they arrived at the ground to agonise over the call on Friday morning.

They decided to stick with Starc in a frontline bowling attack that includes Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson.

"The class of Starcy, it looks like a good wicket," Cummins said.

"I don't think it will be as exaggerated spin from day one. And Starc with the bat and ball is a key player."

Maxwell cut a dejected figure in the nets half hour before the toss, bowling to Steve Smith.

The decision came after Sri Lanka were forced to debut Kamindu Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana and Prabath Jayasuriya after a COVID outbreak in their squad.

The hosts were rocked on Wednesday night with news allrounder Dhananjaya de Silva, quick Asitha Fernando and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay had all contracted the virus.

Back-up spinner Praveen Jayawickrama had also tested positive, with veteran Angelo Mathews the first to go down last week.

Sri Lanka players had feared the virus would spread further, leaving them with an even more weakened team for Friday's second Test.

However no players were required to be tested on Thursday evening with all claiming they were feeling fine and showing no symptoms.

Mathews returns for the second Test, with Sri Lanka again playing one quick bowler and Theeskhana the man of interest given his mystery spin.

Players will now only be tested in-match if they report feeling unwell, in line with protocols for the series.

Australia are staying in the same hotel as Sri Lanka, but have kept their distance and so far avoided any cases on the tour with a full round of negative results on Thursday.

With AAP

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