Australia have usually been dominant over Sri Lanka across formats. However, the T20 World Cup is one event when Sri Lanka are former champions while Aussies’ best effort has been finishing as finalists. Of course, the Lankans are not the force they once used to be while Australia too are not in peak shape. This twist will only add an element of intrigue to the unheralded rivalry.
Both Australia and Sri Lanka will go in having tasted impressive wins in their opening Super 12 encounters. The Aussies got the better of an under-cooked Proteas by five wickets. Bowling first, the Australian pacers combined to restrict South Africa to 118 for 9. Leggie Adam Zampa also chipped in with two wickets, never allowing the South African batters any breathing space. Australia lost a few early wickets in the chase but got home without much trouble in the end
Sri Lanka batted wonderfully to chase down 172 against Bangladesh. They would have been disappointed after their bowlers conceded over 170. However, Charith Asalanka played a splendid knock of 80 not out while Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored a fine 53 to ease the Lankans past the victory line.
Australia’s Predicted XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
There shouldn’t be any change to Australia’s playing XI unless there are some injury concerns. The form of David Warner and Aaron Finch might be beginning to trouble the think-tank though.
Sri Lanka’s Predicted XI: Kusal Perera (WK), Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (C), Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Maheesh Theekshana
Sri Lanka would be hoping Maheesh Theekshana is fit for the match against the Aussies. The form of Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando would be worrying them.
Top fantasy picks for Australia vs Sri Lanka clash: Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Steven Smith, Charith Asalanka, Lahiru Kumara, Wanindu Hasaranga
--Renin Wilben Albert