Richardson makes dream a reality at Gabba

On fire: Australia's three-wicket rookie hero Jhye Richardson.
On fire: Australia's three-wicket rookie hero Jhye Richardson.

Jhye Richardson is refusing to think about the Ashes but the 22-year-old is surely close to booking himself a plane ticket to England after a whirlwind first day in Test cricket.

Only told on Wednesday afternoon he would debut against Sri Lanka, the West Australian gave Australia's bowling the spark it so desperately needed at the day-night Gabba Test.

Called in to replace the injured Josh Hazlewood, Richardson removed Sri Lanka's two best batsmen and finished with 3-26.

It convinced former England skipper Michael Vaughan that the young quick deserved not only a tour spot for the Ashes, but a spot in Australia's side for the first Test at Edgbaston in August.

But Richardson was refusing to look that far into the future.

"Something I've learnt really quickly over the last six to 12 months from a mental side of things - we know how much a mental game cricket is - is to be present," he said.

"I know it's a bit of a cliche to say you need to be present but it's so relevant with cricket.

"As soon as you starting thinking about what is ahead or what could come up all these different emotions get the better of you, you starting trying harder and you might not be bowling at your best."

Presented earlier with his Test cap by Damien Fleming, he produced the kind of movement and disciplined lines the former Australian seamer would have been proud of on Thursday.

He knocked over Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal for his first Test scalp with a ball that moved slightly away from the right-hander on five, before clean bowling the dangerous Kusal Mendis with a peach for 14.

Mendis was one of only two players to pass 1000 runs in Test cricket last year but had no answer to a delivery from the 22-year-old just after tea that swung in and seamed away.

Chandimal and Mendis have both been thorns in Australia's side before, hitting centuries in Sri Lanka's breakthrough series win over the Aussies on the sub-continent in 2016.

Richardson then backed it up with the wicket of Dhananjaya de Silva, this time with one that neatly swung away and caught the edge to cap off a dream first day of Test cricket.

Australian Associated Press