Australian spinner, Nathan Lyon, has slammed the pitch at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo as 'ridiculous' after struggling with a foothole on day one of the third Test against Sri Lanka.
The visitors have complained about the standard of pitches supplied for the series thus far, but Angelo Mathews dismissed the complaints ahead of the Test and warned the tourists to expect another turner.
Lyon got two early wickets but started to struggle with the footholes as Sri Lanka recovered from 26 for 5 to reach 214 by the close without further loss.
When asked about the hole Lyon remarked: "I think I have just hit water – the hole is that deep,
"It's ridiculous on a day-one wicket, if I am being brutally honest. It creates a lot of problems, not just for me, Josh Hazlewood lands in the middle of it, so, hopefully, the curators can somehow fix that."
The curator's attempted to resolve the issue by hammering the pitch but that failed to impress the tweaker: "My two-year-old daughter hits it harder than some of those guys were so, hopefully, we can come up with a plan, the curators and ground staff, and we can fix that. It's not going to get any better, but what can we do?"
Lyon remained upbeat about Australia's chances, saying: "I would say that's a solid day's Test match cricket. That's probably how Test match cricket should be played. We were lucky enough to take five early wickets but you have got to give credit to the two guys batting. They batted outstandingly,
"They are in a good partnership. We have to come back tomorrow and start the grind again. The game is not out of our depth, that's for sure. If you go anywhere else in the world and say, at stumps, 5-210 [5-214], after they won the toss and batted first, it's a big tick.
"We are in a fight and that's the best thing about it. We are in a grind and, to be honest, I was pretty proud of all our bowlers out there today. That was real hot – that was a good test of all of our bowlers."
Australia will need to emulate the efforts of Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal and build partnerships if they hope to take anything from this match.
Lyon continued: "I dare say, if you look at the whole series, that's a big key in Sri Lanka being 2-0 up in the series – the ability for their batsmen to bat in partnerships, and a long period of time,
"We have all spoken about it and our batters have got their own plans to come out in this Test match and, hopefully, put them into play and bat long periods. As I said, that's Test match cricket."