A deadrubber end to a largely one-sided series has taken on some significance after the veteran Michael Hussey announced the Sydney clash will be his 79th and final Test.
Australia, despite the meagre nature of the opposition, further hampered by injuries to a slew of key players, owe their loyal servant an appropriate farewell.
Opportunity knocks, meanwhile, for a home attack lined with all of four seamers - and the wily spin of Nathan Lyon - to enjoy valuable match practice ahead of more testing times against India and England later this year.
The newlook nature of the hosts' batting order, too, needs justifying. The selection of would-be all-rounder Mitchell Johnson at seven in the order, and wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade is a bold move, and might backfire if the potential fragility of David Warner and Phil Hughes is exposed.
Sri Lanka have a fitting send-off of their own to deliver. The SCG will witness Mahela Jayawardene's final match in charge of the Test side - and a maiden victory on Australian soil is in the (marginal) offing.
Jayawardene and team-mate Thilan Samaraweera have waxed lyrical about the self-belief in the visiting camp to bounce back from heavy defeat inside three days in Melbourne. They surely can't get any worse than that performance, but a complete turnaround is entirely unlikely, if not near impossible.
The selection of Dinesh Chandimal as a replacement for the injured Kumar Sangakkara is a promising move, and giving him the gloves regardless of Prasanna Jayawardene's fitness would allow for an additional batsman or bowler, preferably the former.
The recipients of a hot and cold 2012, the Aussies will be eager to hammer home a resounding message at the start of the new year. The Sri Lankans, however, only have the same questions that dogged their December to answer in January.
The man, the match, the moment will demand a big showing from Michael Hussey, eager to end a reasonably epic career on a characteristic high.
Replacing the successful Welegedara presents a tough task, with Nuwan Pradeep presented with the opportunity to answer his doubters.
Last Five Head-To-Head Results
2012: Australia won by an innings and 201 runs in Melbourne
2012: Australia won by 137 runs in Hobart
2011: Third Test, match drawn in Colombo
2011: Second Test: Match drawn in Pallekele
2011: First Test: Australia won by 125 runs in Galle
More cricket bets here.
Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell.
Sri Lanka (probable): Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, 7 Prasanna Jayawardene, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep.
Dates: 3-7 January
Morning session: 10:30-12:30 (23:30-01:30 GMT)
Afternoon session: 13:10-15:10 (02:10-04:10 GMT)
Evening session: 15:30-17:30 (04:30-06:30 GMT)
On-field umpires: Tony Hill and Aleem Dar
Third umpire: Nigel Llong
Match referee: Chris Broad