Aaron Finch did nothing wrong in his 3 T20 Internationals for Australia. Picture: Colleen Petch/news.com.au
Australia will go into the 1st One Day International against Sri Lanka looking to silence the critics after the selectors came in for scathing criticism for leaving several high profile players out of the squad. Skipper Michael Clarke has been joined on the sidelines by crowd favourite David Warner, while Mike Hussey was a controversial omission after announcing that he would retire from international cricket at the end of the summer.
Aaron Finch has been given another opportunity with the national side after banging the selection room door down with a plethora of runs for Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades. The 26 year-old is the leading runscorer in both the Ryobi Cup and Big Bash this season and demanded selection at the top of the order. Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja are also in contention to make their limited overs debuts having scored well in the 50 over game for their respective state sides, with the former in particular, showing tremendous 50 over form of late. He scored heavily in the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition in England and has continued to do so with South Australia and has scored 50 or more in 14 of his past 20 one-day innings.
Steve Smith is in line to play his first ODI match in Australia since the start of 2011, while Brad Haddin joins up with the squad in place of rested wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. George Bailey will captain the side in the absence of Clarke and could give Queensland paceman Ben Cutting his first cap.
Kumar Sangakkara is not part of Sri Lanka’s limited overs squad after suffering a broken hand during the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, robbing the tourists of their most prolific ODI batsman of the past 12 months. Dinesh Chandimal is likely to fill his role as wicketkeeper after doing an admirable job with the gloves in the third Test, although uncapped 22 year-old Kushal Janith Perera is also in the squad.
Tishara Perera, Lasith Malinga and Jeevan Mendis are all likely to line up in Melbourne after successful Big Bash stints for the Heat, Stars and Sixers respectively. The most telling inclusion for Mahela Jayawardene side however, could be Ajantha Mendis , who has recovered from a side strain suffered at the World Twenty20 tournament last October. Mendis has caused Australian batsman all sorts of problems in the past and collected 6/16 against the Aussies in a Twenty20 International in 2011.
Sri Lanka has a good record against Australia in recent ODI matches between the teams, having won six of the past ten, as well as the past three at the MCG.
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