Australia vs Sri Lanka: Preview and Prediction
The match will have significant importance for both sides as Australia and Sri Lanka are still winless in the tournament. At least one of the sides is guaranteed to open their account and move upwards in the points table of the ongoing mega fest.
What Have They Done So Far?
Australia started their ICC Cricket World Cup campaign against India and Pat Cummins won the toss deciding to bat first.
Mitchell Marsh lost his wicket early in the match. However, a partnership between David Warner and Steve Smith gave the Aussies a decent start. Nevertheless, things turned south for the Kangaroos when their top order headed towards the pavilion.
Losing wickets at regular intervals, Australians failed to post a huge target as they got all out on 199. Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets while Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav picked up the wickets of two batters each.
When India came to bat, Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc gave the Aussies a desired start by making the score 2/3. However, the Men in Blue managed to settle down and snatch the victory from Australia’s hand by winning the match in the 41st over by six wickets courtesy of a big partnership from KL Rahul and former skipper Virat Kohli.
In the next match, South Africa handed Australia their biggest ICC Cricket World Cup win by 134 runs. Quinton de Kock’s century helped the Proteas post a huge total of 315 runs while the Australian side failed to settle their feet and get going throughout the match getting all out at 177 as Kagiso Rabada starred with three wickets.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka commenced their campaign against South Africa at the Arun Jaitley stadium. With three centuries from the top-order batters, the Proteas posted a mammoth 428-run target for Sri Lanka and despite efforts from Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka, the Sri Lankan side lost the match by 102 runs.
In the next match, they faced Pakistan where centuries from Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kusal Mendis helped Sri Lanka set a target of 345 runs for Pakistan to chase in the second innings.
Things started well for the Lions as they took two early wickets but Mohammad Rizwan fueled a brilliant comeback for the Shaheens who chased the biggest target in the history of the ICC World Cup.
Head to Head Record
Australia and Sri Lanka have locked horns against each other for a total of 103 times in ODI cricket. The Aussies have been dominant in the rivalry as they have won 63 matches while the Lions have managed to walk out victorious on 36 occasions. Moreover, four of their matches have ended with no result.
Their last meeting took place at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka, in June, last year, where Australia defeated the hosts to win the last match of the series by six wickets. However, the Aussies lost the series by 3-1.
Glenn Maxwell (Australia): Australia’s batting line-up has disappointed the fans and supporters in the two initial matches of the tournament. The five-time champions are yet to score 200+ runs in this edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Australia’s experiment of taking only one full-time spinner to India for the World Cup hasn’t been in their favor yet. Adam Zampa is lacking his rhyme while the pace bowlers are also facing problems against the seasoned batting orders of other nations.
As a result, only Glenn Maxwell can be the solution to their problems. Against South Africa, he bowled ten overs and conceded only 34 runs, picking up two important wickets.
Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka): Kusal Mendis has carried the Sri Lankan team in the two initial matches. Sri Lanka’s lower order has failed to contribute in the batting line-up. Hence, the top-order batters are under the pressure of giving a reliable performance in their upcoming matches.
Mendis is also the third-highest run-getter in the tournament with 198 runs in two innings behind Mohammad Rizwan and Quinton de Kock.
Australia: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Marcus Stoinis, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha
The match is expected to be a close fixture as both nations are eager to win their first match of the 2023 ICC World Cup. Another loss can result in negative consequences for any of the two sides. Hence, Sri Lanka has a greater chance to ace the Australian challenge.