Time: February 11, 1.40PM IST
Venue: SCG, Sydney
The average score in the last four games of the Australian T20 League is 147 at the SCG. Although the pitch historically supports stroke play, it also has a reputation to be on the slower side.
Australia have already announced their playing 11 for the opening match. Josh Inglis will make his international debut. Mitchell Marsh and David Warner have been rested for the series.
Playing 11 for Australia: Ben McDermott, Aaron Finch (c), Steve Smith, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Kusal Mendis has tested positive for Covid-19. He is currently in quarantine.
Probable 11 for Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dusmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana/Binura Fernando
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Ben McDermott recently created history by becoming the only player to slam three hundreds in the Australian T20 League. He also finished as the highest run-getter (577) in the tournament.
Glenn Maxwell has been in great form of late. He smashed 154* against Melbourne last month and overall, he piled on 468 runs at 42.55 in the Australian T20 League. To make matters more interesting, his highest score of 145* in the T20Is came against Sri Lanka. He averages a whopping 95.3 against them.
Wanindu Hasaranga has been a genuine strike bowler for Sri Lanka lately. He took 16 wickets at the T20 World Cup, including a two-wicket haul against the Aussies.
Adam Zampa finished the T20 World Cup as the second-highest wicket- taker (13). The leggie also picked up 7 wickets in his last five Australian T20 League outings. Overall, Zampa has picked up 65 wickets in 57 T20Is.
Charith Asalanka was the highest scorer (231) for Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup. In the last three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, he scored two fifties.
Josh Hazlewood could prove to be effective with the new ball. He has bagged 32 wickets in 24 T20Is, with the best figures of 4/30.
Chamika Karunaratne has the ability to hit long balls and can also be quite handy with the ball during the death overs.
It is always tough to ignore Pat Cummins in fantasy cricket. He has taken 10 wickets in seven games against Sri Lanka in T20Is.
Maheesh Theekshana might have picked up 16 wickets in 10 matches in the Lanka T20 League, but he has gone wicket-less in his last four T20Is.
Steve Smith is inarguably the best player of spin in Australia, but he has been inconsistent against Sri Lanka. His scores read 34, 12, 12, 53*, 13, 28*.
Although Sri Lanka were whitewashed in the T20I series in Australia in 2019, they had won three consecutive series against the Aussies previously. Both teams have locked horns 17 times, with Australia coming out on top on nine occasions.
Fantasy Tip of the Day
Selecting opening batsmen is one of the best strategies to win in fantasy cricket. Since opening batsmen get to play the maximum number of overs, it is only natural to expect them to score good runs. The way most playing 11s are lined up, the opening pair are the best batters in the team. As a result, the chances of these batters scoring runs is much higher than usual.