Preparations for the World Cup, but no points for Sri Lanka and Australia

Preparations for the World Cup, but no points for Sri Lanka and Australia

Big picture

Welcome back to the five-match ODI series, though perhaps for the last time? It was not until the 2019 FIFA World Cup that a bilateral competition of this format took place. For Sri Lanka and Australia, this is an extended opportunity to work on their games before next year’s ODI World Cup, but these matches will have no effect on qualifying because they are not part of a single Super League (just nod and accept is a matter of cricket).

There will be an ODI surplus over the next nine months as FTP and Super League commitments are completed before the closing date. Australia has been particularly light since the 50-over pandemic; they did not play a single match at home last season and have only two series behind them [against West Indies and Pakistan] from the end of 2020.

It will also be the first time they have had most of their ODI team’s first choice together after more than 18 months – Adam Žampa is missing on paternity leave – so while injuries have caused some complications, this is the time when the World Cup in India may start to get serious. , in conditions that sometimes may not be a million miles away from those in a tournament. For Andrew McDonald and Aaron Finch, this is a chance to start shaping the style of one-day cricket, which he believes can be successful (first hint: expect an aggressive outlook with a bat that started in Pakistan).

Sri Lanka has named the team 21 players, which may seem exaggerated for the home series, but at least it means they can check the box covered by all bases. Their ODI cricket remains inconsistent and they are currently out of the Super League automatic qualifying zone. They won their last two series, at home against South Africa and Zimbabwe, but in both they lost what could be vital. It will be the first ODI series under new coach Chris Silverwood.

As always, when you encounter Australia in subcontinent conditions, there will be a temptation to launch a sharp attack, but Sri Lanka’s prospects will diminish whether their tide order can work consistently. The record finish of the chase in the T20I final was a timely boost of confidence. There is also considerable excitement around the 19-year-old versatile rider Dunith Wellalage without a cap, although it is unlikely that he would have penetrated the XI at first.

Recent form

(last five matches, last first)

Sri Lanka WLWWL
Australia DOUBLE

Middle of the attention

If Kusal Mendis he is given a nod as a goalkeeper [see below], will have to repay the faith with a bat. In the six ODIs he has played in the last two years, he has the highest score of 36 and there is no shortage of candidates who would take gloves with Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwell, who are also part of the big team. An average ODI of less than 30 of 80 innings is insufficient for Mendis talented players.

Pat Cummins is one of the older Australian players who have been returning to ODI since the end of 2020. He left the IPL prematurely to recover from a hip injury that Finch revealed had carried him for the past 12-14 months. These one-day matches will also serve as his tuning for the test series in Galle. Cummins’ only previous cricket in Sri Lanka came when it was part of the T20 World Cup in 2012.

Team news

Sri Lanka has several options on the front of the goal. They could keep Mendis in place, although he wasn’t particularly effective with the T20I bat. Charith Asalanka is likely to move down to her notorious No. 5 position in the ODI, and Sri Lanka can strengthen its bat by bringing Dhananjaya de Silva. As for bowling, Waninda Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameer and Maheesh Theekshana will almost certainly play. Given the number of potential pitchers they have in their seventh, they may think that their fourth pitcher would be Chamika Karunaratne. However, they also have Asith Fernando at their disposal.

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

The list of injured in Australia is growing and Kane Richardson is the latest victim. Jhye Richardson was preferred over the second leading spinner in Mitchell Swepson. Finch said they would like to use Alex Carey in position 5 to provide another opportunity for middle-ranked left-handers.

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

Spacing and conditions

Although the last T20I became a reasonably scored game, there were times when both sides fought the bat. The daily ODI element can be a factor. In the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe series at the beginning of the year, which took place exclusively in Pallekele, it was seen in the opening match that Sri Lanka chased 297 quite comfortably before Zimbabwe defended 302 and then eliminated 70. There is a chance that storms will interrupt the game.

Statistics and details

  • Warner, Smith, Cummins and Maxwell have not played ODI since the clash with India in late 2020.
  • The last bilateral ODI series between the two teams was in Sri Lanka in 2016, when Australia won 4-1. National selector George Bailey was the player of the series at the time.
  • Andrew McGlashan is the Deputy Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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