An embattled Sri Lanka, desperate for some points on the table will take on a confident Australian unit buzzing after their victory against Pakistan at the Oval. While Sri Lanka have seen their last two matches being washed out due to incessant rains, Australia bounced back with great gusto against the Men in Green after their meek defeat against India. Though Australia will head into the contests as heavy favourites, they will not commit the folly of taking the Sri Lankan unit lightly who are highly unpredictable.
Sri Lanka vs Australia, Match 20
Kennington Oval, London. (3:00 pm IST)
Played – 96
Sri Lanka wins – 32
Australia wins – 60
No-result – 4
Sri Lanka are yet to strike a balance in both their batting and bowling departments. With the team combination, they have often found themselves either having a batsman or a bowler short in their lineup. To solve the dilemma, they will count upon the experienced campaigners in their ranks to assume more responsibility. The likes of Angelo Mathews who has had a poor tournament so far and Thisara Perera will have to contribute much more to the cause.
For Australia, their balance will likely depend on the fitness status of all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. If not fit, the Aussies will again have to extract 10 overs out of part-time options like Glenn Maxwell and captain Aaron Finch. While it was not much of an issue in Taunton which offered some assistance to the bowlers, a flat deck at the Oval could really hamper the Australian bowling lineup.
Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka): The veteran is the anchor around which Sri Lanka have built their middle-order. But having got out for two consecutive ducks, Mathews will look for a big performance in the match against Australia. Batting at No.5, he will have to adjust his game according to the situation. But with the experience and quality which he has in his locker, one simply can’t count against Mathews to finally come good.
Mitchell Starc (Australia): The spearhead of the Australian pace attack has been in good form during the tournament. He also has an excellent record against Sri Lanka, picking up 12 wickets in 5 innings at an economy rate of 4.46. Against a susceptible Sri Lankan batting order, Starc will be licking his lips.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc.