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Match Preview – Sri Lanka vs Australia, Australia in Sri Lanka 2022, 1st ODI

Match Preview – Sri Lanka vs Australia, Australia in Sri Lanka 2022, 1st ODI

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Welcome to the five game ODI series, although, perhaps, for the last time? Since the 2019 World Cup, there has not been a bilateral competition of this length in the format. For Sri Lanka and Australia, it’s an extended opportunity to work on their matches ahead of next year’s ODI World Cup, but those matches won’t have any bearing on qualification as they are not part of the unique Super League (just nod and accept, it’s a cricket thing).

There will be a glut of ODIs over the next nine months as FTP and Super League commitments will be completed before the deadline. Australia have been particularly light in the 50th game since the pandemic; they didn’t play a single home game last season and only played in two series [against West Indies and Pakistan] since the end of 2020.

It will also be the first time they have reunited with the majority of their first-choice ODI squad in over 18 months – Adam Zampa is missing on paternity leave – so although injuries have created some complications, it marks a moment when planning for the World Cup in India can start to get serious, in conditions sometimes millions of miles away from those of the tournament. It’s lucky for Andrew McDonald and Aaron Finch to start forming the one-day style of cricket that they believe can be successful (first hint: expect the aggressive attitude with the bat that started in Pakistan).

Sri Lanka have named a 21-man squad, which might seem a bit excessive for a home series, but at least means they can tick all the bases covered. Their ODI cricket remains inconsistent and they are currently outside the automatic Super League qualifying zone. They have won their last two series, at home to South Africa and Zimbabwe, but have lost what could be vital matches either way. This will be the first ODI series under new coach Chris Silverwood.

As always, when facing Australia in subcontinent conditions, there will be a temptation to go with a heavy attack, but Sri Lanka’s prospects will come down to whether their batting order can work consistently. The record end of the pursuit in the last T20I was a welcome confidence boost. There’s also plenty of excitement surrounding the uncapped 19-year-old versatile player Dunith Wellalagealthough he’s unlikely to break into the XI to start.

Recent form

(last five games, most recent first)

Sri Lanka WLWWL
Australia DOUBLE

In the spotlight

Whether Kusal Mendis given the go-ahead as wicket-keeper [see below], he will have to repay faith with the bat. In the six ODIs he has played in the last two years, he has a best score of 36 and there is no shortage of candidates to take the gloves off with Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella also making the big team. An ODI average of one tick under 30 over 80 innings seems disappointing for a player of Mendis’ talent.

pat cummins is one of a group of senior Australian players who have been returning to ODI colors since the end of 2020. He left the IPL early to recover from a hip injury, which Finch revealed he was carrying for 12 to 14 months. These one-day matches will also serve as a tune-up for the Test series in Galle. Cummins’ only previous cricket in Sri Lanka came when he was part of the 2012 T20 World Cup.

Team News

Sri Lanka have a few options on the wicket-keeping and batting front. They could keep Mendis in place, although he wasn’t particularly effective with the bat in the T20I. Charith Asalanka will likely descend to his familiar No.5 position in the ODIs, and Sri Lanka could bolster their stick by bringing in Dhananjaya de Silva. On the bowling side, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and Maheesh Theekshana are almost certain to play. Given the number of potential bowlers they have in their top seven, they might consider having Chamika Karunaratne as their fourth bowler. However, Asitha Fernando is also available.

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Dasun Shanaka, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Chamika Karunaratne, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Mahe

Australia’s injured list is growing with Kane Richardson the latest casualty. Jhye Richardson was preferred ahead of a second front row spinner in Mitchell Swepson. Finch said they wanted to use Alex Carey at No. 5 to provide another left-handed option in the middle order.

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (captain), 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Ashton Agar, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Jhye Richardson, 11, Josh Hazlewood

Location and conditions

Although the last T20I became a reasonably high-scoring game, there were also times when both teams struggled with the bat. The daytime element of ODIs could be a factor. In the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe series earlier in the year which was held entirely at Pallekele, the opening match saw Sri Lanka chase down 297 reasonably comfortably before Zimbabwe defended 302 and were then grouped for 70. There is a chance that storms will interrupt the game.

Statistics and anecdotes

  • Warner, Smith, Cummins and Maxwell haven’t played ODIs since facing India at the end of 2020.
  • The last bilateral ODI series between the two teams was in Sri Lanka in 2016 when Australia won 4-1. National coach George Bailey was a player in the series at the time.
  • Andrew McGlashan is associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

    #Match #Preview #Sri #Lanka #Australia #Australia #Sri #Lanka #1st #ODI

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