Two fantastic teams with a great history and once the superpower of the sport, Teams Australia and Sri Lanka, who are in the process of reconstructing their team will lock horns at the Dubai International Stadium, this Thursday.
Notably, both the teams will come into this clash on the back of wins and Sri Lanka would be a more confident side as they managed to chase down a rather difficult target of 171 against the in-form Bangladesh side.
While the Aussies did manage to restrict the Proteas to a modest total, their chase did not look very convincing, and will surely have to work on their batting if they are to make inroads in this high-octane tournament.
Both teams are placed comfortably at the No.2 and No.3 positions and the winner of this clash is likely to jump to the top of the table.
Can the Aussie batsmen get into the groove at the right time? Or will the Island nation who have managed to maintain an undefeated streak in this tournament continue to do so?
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
Head to Head
Matches Played: 16, Australia: 8, Sri Lanka: 8
Weather conditions and pitch
The Aussies have not reported any injuries but definitely few of their players are struggling with their form. Mitchell Marsh who was expected to be the trump card has failed miserably with both the bat and ball. However, a win against the proteas in the first match is likely to give the players another chance in the combination.
The Lankans continued their impressive form by winning their fourth consecutive game and this will be the crucial juncture for the team. The Island nation have been through a lot of emotions and negativity after failing to put up strong performances and winning here could mean a start for something special and is likely to get them very close to the final four finish.
Maheesh Theekshana who is deemed match fit could make the cut given Sri Lanka have just one full spinner in their line-up. Binura Fernando did have a decent outing against Bangladesh but he is likely to be replaced by the former given the overdose of pace in the side.
Probable Playing Xl
Australia (AUS): Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Sri Lanka (SL): Kusal Perera (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando/ Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara
Former Australian skipper Steve Smith showed great character and anchored the innings during the tricky chase. He along with Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga are expected to be the key performers.
In addition, starlet all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and in-form batsman Charith Asalanka are expected to notch up the fantasy points during the contest.
AUS vs SL fantasy team
Captain and Vice-captain picks
Definitely, a tough call to make as both the teams seem equally strong in both the departments. Yes, Aussies have the bigger names but the fact that they are struggling with form makes us believe that the pressure will be on the one or two in-form players to do the job.
The Lankans on the other hand have been in great form and have shown the fighting spirit from the word go and they have been gelling well as a team. In addition to the above factors, Sri Lanka have also managed to get accommodated to the conditions but Aussies look a bit unsettled.
Cricwizz predicts Sri Lanka to win the match and top the Group 1 table.
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