Monday, October 24, 2022

Australia meet Resurgent Sri Lanka at Perth in a Mouth Watering Clash!

Australia vs Sri Lanka at Optus Stadium in Perth: Oct 25, 2022 - Match Preview

The hosts of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and current champions, after losing their opening game New Zealand comfortably, face a resurgent Sri Lankan side in an important Group 1 clash at Optus Stadium in Perth. The two sides met recently in a 3 match T20I series in Sri Lanka which was closely contested but the Australian side won 2-1. Australia have won only 1 out of their last 5 T20I matches while Sri Lanka have won 4, including the Asia Cup final!

Even, with the above recent stats, Sri Lanka start as massive underdogs in Perth with their fast bowling resources having depleted with both Chameera and Madhushanka injured.

Warner and Finch are set to open for Australia once again with Marsh, Maxwell and Stoinis to follow. Tim David and Matthew Wade bulk up the finishing duties for the men from down under. The only change they might consider from the opening game is maybe give Cameron Green a run ahead of either Stoinis or Tim David. But I doubt the Australians would make drastic changes based on one loss.

The 3 pacers, Starc, Cummins & Hazlewood, literally pick themselves and should be a lethal force at Perth while Zampa is likely to be the lone spin option. 

For Sri Lanka, Nissanka missed their last game due to a groin niggle but that was only precautionary. He should slot straight in with Dhananjaya and Asalanka moving a place down at 3 & 4 respectively. Bhanuka Rajapakse and skipper Dasun Shanaka who played that blinder last time these sides met in Palekelle and Wanindu Hasaranga will have to provide support to the top order if Lanka are to triumph Australia at this venue.

Lahiru Kumara and Binura Fernando should be the pace bowlers that Sri Lanka played against Netherlands but they have Kasun Rajitha in their squad now. I doubt if they change that winning combination though. It will be intriguing to watch Hasaranga and Theekshana ply their trade on the pacy and bouncy Perth pitch.

Key Battles: Australia vs Sri Lanka

Lahiru Kumara vs David Warner and Aaron Finch

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood vs Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka

Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana vs Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell

The pace and bounce at Perth was there for all the see when England played Afghanistan here a couple of nights ago. The fall was flying off the pitch. It will not be easy for the Lankan batters to face high quality pace attack of Australia but as Afghani spinners showcased during the English chase, it wasn't easy to face spin here either. A fascinating battle of tact, wit and street smart cricket lies in store for us. The match is very important for Australia since they've already lost their opening tie and they'll look to come back strong. Sri Lanka on the other hand, don't really have much to lose here, they are in great form and they'll look to give it their all to cause a flutter down under.

Probable Australia XI

Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade,  Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa

Probable Sri Lanka XI

Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Dananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapasksa, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando, Lahiru Kumara

Top 5 Fantasy Picks for Australia v Sri Lanka at Optus Stadium, Perth

Mitchell Starc

Josh Hazlewood

Wanindu Hasaranga

Maheesh Theekshana

David Warner

The match will start at 04.30 PM IST (streamed live on Disney Hotstar app & on TV on Star Sports 1)

Can Sri Lanka conjure something special in Perth? Will Australia get back to winning ways?

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