The ongoing political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka has meant the build-up to Australia’s first three-format tour to the island nation in six years has been quieter than it might have been otherwise. But the arrival of the reigning T20 world champions is a welcome sight for Sri Lankan cricket fans who are hoping their team can be more competitive in the lead up to the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia under new coach Chris Silverwood.
(Last five completed matches; most recent first)
Hasaranga, Theekshana, and Dushmantha Chameera are almost certain to form the core of the attack, with allrounders Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis and captain Dasun Shanaka perhaps producing the remaining overs. On the batting front, Sri Lanka will have to decide whether Pathum Nissanka or Kusal Mendis partner Danushka Gunathilaka at the top, and whether Nuwanidu Fernando makes a debut, which would lengthen the batting order.
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Charith Asalanka, 4 Kusal Mendis (wk), 5 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Ramesh Mendis, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Maheesh Theekshana
Australia (possible): 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 David Warner, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Steven Smith, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Ashton Agar, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Kane Richardson, 11 Josh Hazlewood
There has been quite a lot of rain in Colombo. The square has a lot of grass on it and the outfield is heavy and likely to be quite slow. There is an expectation the pitch could be tacky given the moisture.