After Sri Lanka trounced Pakistan at the latter’s home, it seemed that they turned the tables in international cricket. But in the first T20I, they registered their biggest-ever loss in T20Is against Australia in Adelaide. Will Lankans show some fighting spirit or will they lose another series?
Steve Smith (Australia)
After his disastrous run in England During the Ashes, David Warner’s return form with the bat was phenomenal. Smith, on the other hand, maybe one of the best in business when it comes to Test cricket. But in T20Is, he is not as comfortable. The former captain of Australia will be hoping to make his outing in Gabba a special one.
Mitchell Starc won’t be playing in this match as he will be attending his brother’s wedding. Billy Stanlake or Sean Abbott may likely replace him. Though Abbott wasn’t picked in the squad, he will come in place of Andrew Tye who is injured. The rest of the team will likely be unchanged.
Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)
The Man of the Series, Hasaranga, in their T20I whitewash against Pakistan leaked 42 runs in three overs. The leg-spinner will have to rethink his bowling strategy in Down Under to stifle the batsmen in Brisbane. That task won’t be easy but he can exploit the bounce in the wicket. He needs to perform well on Wednesday.
Since Kusal Mendis has not delivered yet, he may be selected. After performing brilliantly against New Zeland at home, left-handed Niroshan Dickwella may be asked to open the innings. After his disastrous run with the ball, Kasun Rajitha will most likely be dropped, with Isuru Udana likely to come in his place.
Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake/Sean Abbott.
Sri Lanka XI:
Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis/Niroshan Dickwella, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Perera (WK), Oshada Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga (C), Nuwan Pradeep.
If they lose again, previous losses will haunt the islanders again. The team has been going through one of its worst phases, barring in a few games. The onus is now on their skipper Lasith Malinga, who needs to lead from the front, to deliver goods with the ball. The South Asian nation was unable to come to terms with the conditions in Adelaide after its big defeat.