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Australia vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I: Preview – Focus on T20 World Cup as both teams face-off in Adelaide

Aussies will be keen on preparing a strong squad for the T20 World Cup they are hosting next year and they will be taking every game seriously from here.

Australia captain Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch and Lasith Malinga. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Despite exiting World Cup in disappointing circumstances, Australia have nothing to be sad about having retained the Ashes in what turned out to be one of the most memorable duels between the arch-rivals. Their time in England ended on a happy note and they’re back hunting on their home soil, with the Lankan lions awaiting their presence.

Harry Neilsen’s brilliant 79 denied Sri Lanka a win in the warm-up game against Prime Minister’s XI, but the visitors are looking very confident in the shorter format having thumped Pakistan on their home soil 3-0. Adelaide will provide some good tracks to bat on and without a doubt, there will be a lot of runs flowing this Sunday afternoon.

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Aussies will be keen on preparing a strong squad for the T20 World Cup they are hosting next year and they will be taking every game seriously. They’re going with a good mix of youth, exuberance and experience, which should put the opponents under some pressure.

Playing combinations

Australia

Aaron Finch has shown how aggressive he can be as a captain, going for all-out attacks on the opposition in the World Cup 2019. He will open with David Warner, who has been under the pump a little bit. Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell will have to do a lot of work in the middle order and they also have the likes of Ashton Turner and Alex Carey to give them a good finish.

For the first time in a long time, they are going with a full-fledged top-notch pace attack. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Billy Stanlake could be forming the fast bowling trio, with Richardson being another option. Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar are the spinning options.

Probable XI

Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner/Ben McDermott, Alex Carey (WK), Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Billy Stanlake/Kane Richardson.

Bench – Sean Abbott, Ashton Turner/Ben McDermott, Billy Stanlake/Kane Richardson.

Sri Lanka

Shehan Jayasuriya impressed one and all with his batting exploits against Sri Lanka and he will be under tremendous pressure to perform well again, alongside Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera will have a lot of aggressive batting to do at the top of the order. Niroshan Dickwella and skipper Dasun Shanaka will be playing the finishers’ role.

Perhaps for one final assignment, Lasith Malinga will once again hold the key for the Lankan Lions. He could be a pivotal source of wickets for them next year in the championship. Isuru Udana and Wanidu Hasaranga will be the other fast bowling options, with one among Nuwan Pradeep and Kasun Rajitha making the final cut.

Probable XI

Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera (WK), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando/Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep/Kasun Rajitha.

Bench – Niroshan Dickwella/Oshada Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha/Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara

Focus will be on

David Warner (Australia)

Australia’s batting hero in the World Cup, failed horribly in the Ashes and David Warner raked up one of the worst performances ever by an Australian opener in a five-match series. The world is not oblivious to what he is capable of and playing on home soil could be the best thing to ask for him in this situation. Without a doubt, all eyes will be on the southpaw to see if he can recoup his old form.

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

How many times has he done for them in the past? And yet, Lasith Malinga has still not lost his hunger to keep delivering, which brings him to Australia now and will perhaps bring him here again next October. With the side in a bit of a turmoil, his experience is something the fans are counting on big time and although he doesn’t disappoint often, it is a bit too much to expect from him.

Head to Head

Matches played – 13 | Australia won – 5 | Sri Lanka – 8 | No Result – 0

Stat Attack

1 – Australia won just one of the 4 T20I games they played at the Adelaide Oval. Incidentally, that one win victory came against Sri Lanka in 2017.

Broadcast details

TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD

Live Stream – Sony LIV

Match timings – 2 PM Local time; 9 AM IST

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