Smith hints at selection errors after Sri Lanka shock


Australia captain Steve Smith concedes selection policy for the tour of Sri Lanka might have contributed to their series defeat after a sorry collapse in Galle.

The top-ranked Test side heading into the series, Australia lost inside three days as they utterly failed to handle Sri Lanka's spin attack - Rangana Herath took a first-innings hat-trick and Dilruwan Perera ended the match with 10 wickets.

David Warner and Joe Burns failed to take an opening stand beyond three runs in the first two Tests, the latter making just 34 across his four knocks. Australia coach Darren Lehmann admitted before Saturday's play that his players "were not showing up".

Powerful stroke-makers like Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges and Mitchell Marsh have also failed to fire and Smith concedes that a different approach may be required with next year's high-profile tour to India fresh in the mind.

"Yeah, it [selection] certainly needs to be looked at. If there are guys that can play spin well in these conditions then it's certainly got to be a chance," Smith said.

With one Test remaining to save some face, the Australian skipper challenged his team-mates to learn their lessons from the damaging contests so far.

"We have got to try and prove to ourselves and the public that we can play in these conditions," he added.

"I think some of the boys have learned a little bit from the way the Sri Lankan batters have played. We saw a lot of sweep shots from them, reverse sweeps, so I think the guys have learned a little bit from watching them play and having their own plans and courage to implement them out in the middle.

"It's never easy when the ball is spinning and skidding and you don't know which one is which with guys around the bat. It's difficult but I guess you have to have the courage to find the way to do it."