JUST as some rich folk are lampooned as having so much money they do not know know what to do with it all, Australian captain Michael Clarke could be considered to have been over-laden with pacemen.
Bowling Sri Lanka out marginally inside day one for the concession of 294 runs was perhaps enough to prevent the selection of five specialist bowlers being described as a blunder - the abysmal lack of discipline by the visitors' tailenders prevented that.
Honours shared on day one of SCG Test
Australia have dismissed Sri Lanka for 294 on day one at the SCG.
Nevertheless, there was little to suggest the job done collectively by Australia's four pacemen could not have been adequately completed with three. That would have kept Australia's specialist batting line-up at seven, rather than the six who must do the job for the rest of the series-ending Test at the SCG.
The composition of Australia's team seemed to sway Clarke in two key ways.
First, he chose to field first at the SCG despite no captain having done so for 21 years, consigning his batsmen to a fourth-innings task against the world's most prolific wicket-taker of last year, spinner Rangana Herath.
Second, only once was a seamer given a spell of more than four overs: the impressive Jackson Bird's five-over spell with the first new ball.
While it could be argued such an approach would prevent complacency among the pacemen, it also prevented a chance to build pressure, a scenario Bird has relished in the Sheffield Shield. He snared 4-41 without raising a sweat.
The addition of Mitchell Starc to the Melbourne Test pace attack of Bird, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson undoubtedly bolstered Australia's ability to promptly dispatch the tail, and should theoretically have given Clarke more flexibility in his bowling combinations, but it also hindered it.
Before the Boxing Day Test, Shane Warne argued Starc and Johnson could not feature in the same attack because each was too likely to leak runs. Of the 87.4 overs Australia bowled on day one, only two featured the left-armers bowling in tandem. By comparison, right-armers Bird and Siddle had a combined partnership of 11 overs. While Clarke could afford to bypass one fast-bowling combination in a four-man attack, it surely would be too much of a hindrance with three.
The second Sri Lankan innings will hopefully provide a platform to test their capability to bowl together ahead of the looming India tour.
Some things about the first Sri Lankan innings were an extension of Melbourne, namely the flimsy opening partnership and the too-frequent lazy dismissal from specialist batsmen and tailenders alike. The things that were not - pleasingly - were the long-awaited glimpse of captain Mahela Jayawardene's best in Australia, and a fine Test innings from a batsman aged in his 20s rather than mid-30s. Twenty-three-year-old Lahiru Thirimanne, one of four beneficiaries of Sri Lanka's spate of injuries, was that standout young batsman.
Jayawardene and Thirimanne shared Sri Lanka's best partnership of the innings, 62 for the third wicket, and produced the most memorable moments for the SCG crowd of 26,197 with their strokeplay, although Starc provided a late contender, too, with a fast inswinging yorker for which he is renowned that bowled a helpless Dinesh Chandimal.
Between them, Thirimanne and Jayawardene hit 25 fours and two sixes, with most more due to good technique than excess luck or power.
Thirimanne deserved credit for leading the batting once Jayawardene departed, shepherding his team to a respectable 6-250. His chance at a century ended at his own hand with a reckless swipe off Nathan Lyon - superbly caught by a diving David Warner - ending his innings nine short of a maiden century.
Given each of Sri Lanka's tailenders showed so little fight - Nuwan Pradeep gets a partial credit for his three boundaries - the biggest surprise was that the last wicket did not fall early enough to force Australia to bat just before stumps.