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After a long and hard-fought test season, which featured some of the iconic tests, we are back to the limited overs cricket as far as international cricket is concerned. For all the teams in the international circuit, the eyes will be on the T20 World Cup, which is to be played at around the same time in 2020. There couldn't be better preperation of it than playing at the same venue against one of the most potent lineups in the format.
T20 World Cup Trophy is the only title that has elduded Australia and they'll be looking to kick-start their preperation with a three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, the series which is set to begin on 27th October at Adelaide. Sri Lanka are coming off a superb away win over Pakistan and will be riding high on confidence. With something going for both the sides, we believe that this series is expected to be fought a lot harder than it looks to be on paper.
Although its been quite some time since the men in yellow played the shortest version of the game, they will take a lot of confidence from the wins in their last series. In the last five matches, Australia have won three and lost two, including two stupendous win over potent Indian side in February this year. Glenn Maxwell was the chief architect of both the wins as he smashed 56 and 113 to take his side to victory and continues to be a vital cog in this Aussie lineup.
This series also marks the return of David Warner and Steven Smith to the Aussie T20 side and it will be interesting to see how the duo fare with not much time to go for World Cup. On the bowling front, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc will shoulder the load of the pace attack. The duo will also have a point to prove as they have often been sidelined due to rotation and rest and they will be looking to make a mark in the limited-overs version of the game as well.
The Aussies suffered a major blow yesterday as Andrew Tye got injured during the practice session and was, therefore, ruled out of the series. Kane Richardson is likely to replace him and join Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc to handle the quick-bowling department. With Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar available as the spinners, the Aussies bat deep and have a pretty well-rounded bowling attack.
Barring a bit of inexperience, the Australians do not have any visible limitations that they'd like to address before the first match of the series. They have a strong top-order that is followed by explosive middle-order comprising of Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, and Ashton Turner. With a lethal bowling attack, Australia have a strong unit and beating them is not going to be as easy for Sri Lankans as beating Pakistan was in their previous series.
Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, AJ Turner, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, KW Richardson, Adam Zampa.
Perceived to be walk-overs before going to Pakistan, Sri Lankans shrugged off all the doubts regarding them as they thumped Pakistan in all the T20Is of the series. Their unexpected win was rather surprising as it was not even the preferred eleven that ended up beating Pakistan at their home ground.
Sri Lanka's recent struggles in international cricket have been well and truly elaborate and while they did pretty well in their last series, against Pakistan, there will be plenty of doubts that they'll have to answer in this upcoming series. The batting is still a huge concern for them as it was validated in the only tour game as well. Their bowling, however, looks pretty good on paper and their spinners could pose a threat to Australian batsmen, who are not as acquainted to playing spin as they are to playing fast-bowling.
Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan presented a lot of young players with opportunity and Oshada Fernando grabbed it with both hands. He looked the best batsmen of the lot against Pakistan and did reasonably well in against Prime Minister's Eleven. With swashbuckling players in Niroshan Dickwell, Kusal Mendis, and Danushka Gunathilaka likely to bat around him, he will have a lot less pressure to deal with, which could be bring out the best in him.
Lasith Malinga missed the warm-up fixture, but is likely to return to the fold to play the opening match of the series. He has looked in his vintage form of late and could to be tough customer to handle for the Aussie batsmen. Considering the talent available at their disposal, Sri Lanka appear to be a lot better team in the T20s that in the ODIs and beating them is not going to be a walk in the park even for the potent Australian team.
Kusal Mendis , Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Perera, Oshada Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Wanidu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga.
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While Sri Lanka have done enough in the recent times to keep them from being considered walk-overs, they still have a point to prove and they couldn't have a better opportunity to do so than this series. Beating Australia in Australia is always a big feat and Sri Lanka will have to play out of their skins right from the word go. Australia, on the other hand, appear to be a pretty well-balanced unit and have the home advantage as well. Although the odds of 1.17 are a little too low as returns, but betting on a win for Australia is a pretty safe proposition. Australia are firm favorites to win the upcoming match and betting on their win will be the way to go.
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