Australia’s Under 19s will carry plenty of confidence into their five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka in Hobart following a commanding performance in their drawn three-day match, while some exciting names are set to make their Under 19s debuts.
The hosts were denied victory by three wickets due to some determined Sri Lankan batting late on day three, but controlled the game from early on the opening day, according to coach Matthew Elliott.
"I thought we made the running from pretty much lunch on day one, we drove the game forward," Elliott said.
"(It was) a little bit frustrating not to get those last couple of wickets, but I was really happy about the way the boys attacked the game.
"I think you always think maybe. Ideally in those situations you want to go into the last hour needing two wickets.
"We just weren’t there. To their credit, they batted really well. They put their heads down and didn’t give their wickets away when they were five down, so all credit to them for holding out for a draw."
Elliott praised Will Sutherland, who skippered the Under 19s in the three-day match and set an enterprising chase for the tourists of 268 runs in just under 60 overs.
"I think Will’s total was terrific, it really moved the game forward, there was the opportunity for a result," Elliott said.
"We just didn’t quite create enough chances. We had couple of chances early that we put down, I think we were a little bit flat in the middle and we came home with a rush."
Centuries to Jack Edwards and Jonathan Merlo on the opening day helped the Australians get off to a perfect start, while bags of four wickets to Zak Evans and Ryan Hadley almost reaped an improbable three-day victory, with several hours lost to rain on day two.
The hosts look set to make a couple of changes for Thursday’s opening one-dayer, with Queensland opener Max Bryant and New South Wales allrounder Austin Waugh waiting in the wings for their first shot at representing Australia’s Under 19s.
But the make-up of the Australian batting line-up remains to be seen, with a number of limited-overs openers from the underage championships in the squad including Bryant, Edwards, Ryan Hackney, Matthew Spoors and co-captain Param Uppal.
"We’ll have a change of personnel for sure. We’ve got a couple of guys to come in, so that will change our line-up a little bit," Elliott said.
"We’ll just take each game as it comes.
"We don’t know what’s going to happen, Thursday’s a long way away.
"We just need to prepare really well and put our best foot forward when we play these guys again.”
All five one-day matches will be streamed via cricket.com.au and on the Cricket Australia Live app.