Pallekele: Batsman Shaun Marsh is expected to make his Test debut for Australia in the second Test against Sri Lanka, replacing former captain Ricky Ponting, who has returned home for the birth of his second child.
The 28-year-old Marsh has has played 35 One-Day Internationals and has a healthy 37-run average in first-class cricket.
Marsh, who was accustomed to playing at the top of the batting order, should fill Ponting's No.3 slot, meaning the team would not have to alter a batting order that performed strongly in the first Test.
Australia won that first Test by 125 runs in the southern city of Galle, and that put Sri Lanka in a must-win situation in the three-match series if it is to notch only its second-ever series victory over Australia.
Apart from Marsh's inclusion, the visitors will retain the same lineup that won the first Test.
The pitch at Pallekele will be novel to both sides, with the Test starting Thursday being just the second on the ground, while the first saw little play due to rain.