Sri Lanka and Australia lock horns with each other in Pallekele for the first ODI of the five-match series on June 14. For the first time in recent history, the series won’t be part of the World Cup Super League.
However, this doesn’t mean that the series doesn’t have much relevance. Both teams will use this as an opportunity to start building a team for the 2023 World Cup, to be played in India next year.
Sri Lanka would look to make a strong start to the series. They have lost the T20I series by 2-1 but are coming off a win in thier last T20 game against the visitors. However, they are inexperienced in the format and would have to play really well to win the series. Talking about their side, the team has three wicketkeeping options in the form of Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, and Niroshan Dickwella. Mendis, though, is likely to make the cut.
Sri Lanka have a pretty strong batting unit on paper, consisting the likes of Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Charitha Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva. With the ball, they will be banking on Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chammera, and Maheesh Theekshana.
Probable XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana
Australia: The team have arrived in the Island nation with a near-full strength squad for the entire tour. Apart from Adam Zampa (paternity leave), Kane Richardson (ruled out due to hamstring injury), and Mitchell Starc (unavailable for the first two games), Australia have all the arsenal to do the damage. However, a lot players haven’t played an ODI game since late 2020 and might find it difficult to adapt.
Also, pacers such as Pat Cummins and Jos Hazlewood might not play all the game, given the humidity in the island nation at this time of the year. Talking about the playing XI, the team might be going with one spinner in the form of Ashton Agar and Jhye Richardson in pace bowling alongside Cummins and Hazlewood.
Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Josh Hazlewood
The last game at the venue was a high-scoring one. However, the game was played in the night but the ODI will be played in the day-night format which means batting might be difficult in the first innings. Not to forget, the game might be affected by rain.
Date: 14th June 2022
Time: 2:30 PM (IST)
Broadcasting details: Sony Sports Network and Sony Live