We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
We could be in for another decent batting wicket at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. In the last three games, the average first and second innings score read 158 and 139. That said, this will be the first T20I game at the venue in over two years.
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis/Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana/Nuwan Thushara
Playing XI for Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mathew Wade (wk), Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson
Wanindu Hasaranga’s 4 for 33 almost won the game for Sri Lanka at Premadasa. He has bagged 13 wickets in 7 matches against Australia and will remain the biggest threat for the tourists.
Sri Lanka will have to find ways to dismiss David Warner quickly in the initial few overs. In his last 6 T20Is against them, he has slammed a hundred and four half-centuries.
Josh Hazlewood has rattled the Sri Lankan batting order with his probing line and length. Aside from his four-wicket haul in the opening game, he has also generated bonus fantasy points for his economical bowling.
All of Kane Richardson’s wickets in his series have come at the death. With five scalps in two games, he is the leading wicket-taker for the tournament.
Maheesh Theekshana might not have done the required damage in the first two games, but his ability to create pressure with the new ball in the powerplay will always keep him in the hunt.
Glenn Maxwell’s dual role is always going to fetch handy fantasy points. Although he didn’t score many runs in the second match, he managed to pick 2 important wickets.
It was Jhye Richardson’s three-wicket haul in the second T20 that put the brakes on the Sri Lankan run-making. His ability to move the ball around will always keep the opening batters in check.
Charith Asalanka has been the only batter in the Sri Lankan camp who has shown the intent to attack the Australian bowlers. He has added 77 runs in two innings.
After scoring a brisk 36 in the opening game of the series, Pathum Nissanka was dismissed for a single-digit figure in the previous match. If the hosts are to look for a big score, they will need a decent start from him at the top.
Aaron Finch has been providing his team with breezy starts in this series. In two innings, he has added 85 runs at a strike rate of 160.38.
Perhaps Sri Lanka are wasting the good form of Bhanuka Rajapaksa by demoting him down the order. If they can take a leaf out of Punjab’s book, he could turn around the fortunes.
Although Sri Lanka tried to come back in the second game, the Australians managed to hold their nerve to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Sri Lanka will only be playing for pride in the final match. That said, they will have to bat with better intent to compete against the World Champions.
Time: 11 June, 7.00 PM IST