Deadline: November 1, 2019 at 1:40 PM IST
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Sri Lanka have been struggling to clear the long boundaries in Australia. They try to steal singles but Australia’s athleticism is exceptional, giving no respite whatsoever. They now will – in the true sense of the word -battle at the massive Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where not once has 200 been breached. The average first and second innings scores read as low as 139 and 129 respectively.
D’Arcy Short has replaced Glenn Maxwell, who has taken an indefinite break from cricket to deal with mental health issues.
When Australia needed runs at a quick rate, they sent Glenn Maxwell at No.3 and Ashton Turner at 5. When Australia lost their first wicket early, they sent Steven Smith at No. 3 for stability. Choose your fantasy team likely.
Australia might consider adding Sean Abbott in the mix. Whether they will rest the in-form Pat Cummins or drop the wicketless Kane Richardson, is a question only the team management can answer.
Mitchell Starc, who was unavailable for the previous match, is back with the team.
Probable XI for Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson/Sean Abbott/Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake
Sri Lanka have taken a mere 3 wickets in 2 matches, failing to dismantle the defences of the Australian batsmen. Having lost the series (their first ever in Australia), they have nothing but pride to play for. Expect a number of changes in the playing XI.
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis/Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (wk), Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Lakshan Sandakan/Shehan Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga (c), Nuwan Pradeep/Lahiru Kumara
NOTE: Pick your fantasy cricket team wisely.
We have opted for a fantasy team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
You can also check players’ performances in the last 5 matches. Tap on the players’ images to get the data while making your fantasy team.
Note: You can now select 1-4 wicketkeepers, 1-6 batsmen, 1-6 all-rounders, 1-6 bowlers.
Wicketkeepers: Kusal Perera
Batsmen: Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Avishka Fernando, David Warner (c), Steven Smith
All-rounders: Ashton Agar, Danushka Gunathilaka
Bowlers: Lasith Malinga, Adam Zampa (vc), Pat Cummins
David Warner has been firing on all cylinders at the Sri Lankan bowlers. He has scored 160 runs in the series without losing his wicket. All this at a stunning strike rate of 164.9.
Adam Zampa has been successfully spinning a web around the visitors. He is the highest wicket-taker (5) of the series. His spin partner Ashton Agar has been no less. While Zampa turns the ball, Agar deceives the batsmen with variations in pace.
Sri Lanka haven’t been getting their batting line-up right. Kusal Mendis, a batsman equipped with a sound technique, hasn’t been able to launch an onslaught in the powerplay. Danushka Gunathilaka, who was impressive on the Pakistan tour, has been failing to negotiate the extra pace and bounce generated on the Australian pitches.
To put everything in perspective, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, and Niroshan Dickwella need to bat higher up the order, so Sri Lanka get a chance to make a statement at the start of the innings. Their current game plan has been instead putting them on the backfoot, and if they do not make the necessary changes, they might as well get whitewashed 0-3.
Australia’s bowling has been nothing short of exception. From pacers to spinners, everyone has been taking wickets at crucial intervals, never letting the visitors off the hook. Sri Lanka will have to perform out of their skin to get the better of the mighty Australians.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steven Smith, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Alex Carey (wk), Ben McDermott, Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye
Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (c), Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Mendis, Kasun Rajitha, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan