The thought of taking on the mighty Australians on their own soil is enough to give Sri Lankan fans severe palpitations.
True, the hosts will be without their skipper and star batsman Ricky Ponting for the first Test, but Sri Lanka are missing a more crucial cricketer for both matches.
Realistically, without Muttiah Muralitharan, their chances of winning in either Darwin or Cairns look remote to say the least.
The world's top wicket-taker of all-time opted out of the tour Down Under, chiefly because of the volatile receptions with which crowds in Australia greet him.
Australians are seen to be the most vehement opponents of Murali's bowling action, while the recent banning of his 'doosra' delivery is hardly likely to have galvanised his passion for the challenge.
So onwards his team-mates go without him.
Even before stepping onto Australian soil, the bitter memory of a resounding 3-0 thrashing at home in March lingers uncomfortably.
It proved to be the last straw for Hashan Tillakaratne, whose forlorn tenure as captain was brought to a close in preference for Marvan Atapattu.
Atapattu is under no illusions about Sri Lanka's chances in the absence of Muralitharan, even if Shane Warne thinks the off-spinner is foxing and will play after all.
Will Fernando prosper on the tropical pitches?
"The whole team will miss him," said the Sri Lankan skipper. "But it is a big challenge for every one of us to come out with better performances."
But where are the better performances going to come from, especially now the bowling attack is deprived of its talisman?
Along with Chaminda Vaas, much will be expected of Dilhara Fernando, the strapping fast bowler whose slingy action should be suited to the Australian wickets.
Then there is the inexperience of Lasith Malinga and Farveez Maharoof, two seam bowlers with no previous experience of Australian conditions.
With no quality spin cover for Muralitharan, the Sri Lankans should not expect too much success from spinners Rangana Herath and Upal Chandana.
Herath has played four Tests - with a four-year gap between his third and most recent appearances - and taken 10 wickets at a cost of 47 runs each, while Chandana is seen more as a one-day player.
But the back-up pair can gain heart from the fact last year's inaugural Tests in Cairns and Darwin saw leg-spinner Stuart MacGill do most of the damage for Australia.
If Sri Lanka harbour any ambitions of victory, their top-order will need to produce the performances of their careers.
The talent is there in abundance - it is just a matter of each of them hitting peak form at the same time.
The free-playing strokes of Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardne and Kumara Sangakarra against a reunited attack comprising Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie will make an intriguing contest.
The series will also be a testing time for Sri Lanka coach John Dyson, the former Australian Test payer.
Resounding victories against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are hardly the best preparations to take on the world's greatest cricketing nation in their own back yard.
And the added pressure of returning to his homeland with a team deprived of the greatest wicket-taker of all time will test his methods of motivation and inspiration to their very limits.
With only two Tests to prove their credentials, the task of giving the Australians a run for their money looks beyond Sri Lanka's grasp.