New Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood is hoping the intel gleaned from England's horror Ashes tour will come in handy when he faces Australia again
Ex England coach to use Ashes notes for Galle Tests
Chris Silverwood hopes the extensive notes he has kept on the Australians who effectively ended his tenure as England coach earlier this year could now be their downfall over the coming weeks against Sri Lanka.
With the nightmare of last summer's Ashes campaign still fresh, Silverwood says he is drawing on the same opposition analysis he used against Australia in their 4-0 Test series victory.
After losing the England job, the 47-year-old former fast bowler has since taken over the coaching reins of Sri Lanka and hopes his scouting can help topple the world's top-ranked Test team.
"I keep notes on everything. I'm an avid scribbler, so I've got my notes on the Australian batsmen from the Ashes," Silverwood told reporters after leading the hosts to an ODI series victory over the Aussies.
"I'm not going to go too much into the Ashes … but whatever knowledge I can bring from there and bring to our guys, I will."
Silverwood, one of several casualties among on and off-field England leaders after their disastrous tour down under, has made a promising start in his new job.
Sri Lanka knocked off Bangladesh 1-0 in a Test tour last month in his first series in charge before overseeing a stirring reversal in fortunes in the white-ball matches against Australia.
After losing three of their first four limited-overs games, including a 2-1 T20I series defeat, the Lankans have won the past three 50-over games to seal a first home ODI series victory over Australia in three decades.
Key to the turnaround has been match-winning performances from emerging young batters Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka, while established players like Kusal Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga and skipper Dasaun Shanaka have all shone.
"I had a rough winter over in Australia. They're a very difficult team to beat in their own backyard," said Silverwood.
"So winning (the ODI series) here was very satisfying, but more satisfying for me was the progress of the team that has made their way through this journey so far.
"Just to see the tactics coming together, to see guys out in the middle scoring runs, to see how we've chased totals down.
"One of the most exciting things is we're still nowhere near the potential we have in that team, yet we are still pushing the one of the best teams in the world. That's very exciting and we've more to come."
Their biggest challenge is likely to come in the two-Test campaign in Galle, which the Australians have prioritised over the limited-overs matches, with Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins all being managed through the T20s and ODIs with the view to have them primed for the red-ball games.
Australia are fresh off a first Test series win in Asia in more than a decade having won 1-0 in Pakistan earlier this year, but are expecting more spin-friendly pitches when they arrive on the Sri Lankan south coast on Saturday.
Painful memories linger from a 3-0 series defeat six years ago, largely at the hands of Rangana Herath, but Sri Lanka's Test bowlers are decidedly less experienced this time around.
Silverwood hopes their success in coloured clothing will translate into the longest format for the likes of crossover players like Mendis, Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva and Niroshan Dickwella.
"Certainly the guys who play multi-format, it will give them confidence going into the Test series," he said.
"I want the guys who went to Bangladesh to bring the confidence from that series win into this one.
"I want the guys who play all formats to take knowledge of the bowlers they face, the batters they bowled to – they can take that knowledge forward with them.
"We have to be on the ball because Australia are a good side. We're going to have prepare well, and we're going to have play well because I know one thing; the Australians are going to come hard at us."
Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka, 2022
June 7: Australia won first T20 by 10 wickets
June 8: Australia won second T20 by three wickets
June 11: Sri Lanka won third T20 by four wickets
Sri Lanka ODI squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Niroshan Dickwella, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Madushanka, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 14: Australia won first ODI by two wickets (DLS)
June 16: Sri Lanka won second ODI by 26 runs (DLS)
June 19: Sri Lanka won third ODI by six wickets
June 21: Sri Lanka won fourth ODI by four runs
June 24: Fifth ODI, Colombo, 7pm AEST
Sri Lanka Test squad (provisional): Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Pathum Nissanka, Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Mohamed Shiraz, Shiran Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lakshitha Rasanjana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suminda Lakshan
Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 29 - July 3: First Test, Galle, 2.30pm AEST
July 8-12: Second Test, Galle, 2.30pm AEST
All Sri Lanka v Australia international fixtures will be screened live on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports