SL v AUS, 5th ODI Preview: Vanquished Lankans play for pride

SL v AUS, 5th ODI Preview: Vanquished Lankans play for pride

Australia vs Sri Lanka
Australian cricketer John Hastings. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

With Angelo Mathews out of action for the final Sri Lanka v Australia ODI at Pallekele, it is clear that the Lankans will have to play out of their skin to secure a win. Dinesh Chandimal is expected to lead the side and play for pride as will the rest of the team as they aim to clinch a win and make it 3-2 in the series. That said, it will be an interesting encounter with a few players expected to come into the side ahead of the ones who will clearly be fatigued by the long and arduous tour.

Pitch Conditions:

The wicket at Pallekele is expected to be the similar one used for the Test match as well. That would mean that turn will be on offer for the spinners on the show. Adam Zampa, in particular, will be looking to add to his wickets tally on a track tailor-made for him.

Team Analysis:

Sri Lanka:

As mentioned before, Mathews will be out of action with a calf strain. However, with Dinesh Chandimal having proved to be more than a capable leader in recent times, it is fair to assume that the Lankans will not be any pushovers. However, the selectors will be torn for a replacement for the injured Mathews with many a player available from the fertile domestic circuit.

The spotlight will be fixed on newcomer Amila Aponso. The spinner has so far impressed in the series and has been one of Sri Lanka’s best bowlers in recent times. Sri Lanka also included Niroshan Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka in their 16-man squad for Sunday’s match. Thisara Perera and Lakshan Sandakan left out from the squad.


David Warner, the stand-in skipper for the Aussies at the moment would not have had a consummation to his captaincy any better. Leading 3-1 in the series, Warner now will be expected to play with freedom as well as batting acumen that he is known to have. Although it is unclear whether there would be a selection change, it remains to be seen what happens at Pallekele.

While the Australian batting unit boasts of many a special player, the eyes of the selectors will be focused on Travis Head. The southpaw has a reputation of being able to smash the ball a long way, however, he has been largely subdued when it comes to batting in Australian colors. He will be hoping that he can make an impact in the final ODI of the series.

The Aussie team has decided to rest pacers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for the fifth and final ODI. Hazlewood left Sri Lanka after the fourth ODI while Starc is there with the squad for the two-match T20I series that will follow.

Probable XI

Sri Lanka:

Dinesh Chandimal (C), Kusal Perera (wk), Kusal Mendis, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Perera, Upul Tharanga, Amila Aponso, Dilruwan Perera, Sachith Pathirana, Suranga Lakmal


David Warner (C), Matthew Wade (wk), Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, George Bailey, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Adam Zampa, Scott Boland


1. George Bailey needs 74 runs to complete 300 ODI runs in the series. Similarly, newly appointed Sri Lanka skipper requires 65 runs to do the same.

2. Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner require just one wicket to complete 10 wickets in the current series.

3. The last time Sri Lanka won a bilateral series against Australia was in 2011 in Australia where they clinched a 2-1 win.

4. In bilateral series against Australia, Sri Lanka has won three out of six series. One has been drawn thus far.