Understrength Australia Looks To Adelaide

Image courtesy of cricket.com.au
Stand-in skipper George Bailey is looking for a second straight win. Image courtesy of cricket.com.au

After copping an absolute hiding at the hands of Australia’s so-called ‘B’ team, Sri Lanka has the chance to hit back on Sunday at the Adelaide Oval, a venue the tourists have won two of their last three matches at against the home side. Unlike the hard and bouncy MCG deck, Adelaide should be more suited to the likes of Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis and Rangana Herath, depending on what type of spin attack the Lions go in with.

The last two of those three encounters in Adelaide were the second and third finals of last season’s triangular tournament which also involved India. Sri Lanka cruised home by eight wickets in the second final thanks to a Tillakaratne Dilshan century and 80 to Mahela Jayawardene , before Australia bounced back to take out a thrilling decider by 16 runs. That finals series featured centuries from David Warner and Michael Clarke, neither of whom will be making an appearance this weekend as they are being rested. Dinesh Chandimal was the only batsman to really get going for the visitors in game one, and the mind boggles as to how he was left out of the side for the first two Tests this summer.

Phillip Hughes was the undoubted star for Australia in game one of the series as he became the country’s first debutant to make an ODI century. Hughes has been making plenty of runs on his new home ground for South Australia and the Adelaide Strikers, and comes in to this match having passed 50 in 15 of his last 21 one-day innings across all competitions. With Warner and Clarke more than likely to come in to the side for the remainder of the series, the likes of Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja will need a good score to hold their place in the side.

Clint McKay finished with the best figures of 4/33 in the opening match, and he should have happy memories of playing Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval after taking a five-for against them in the finals series last season. Some deplorable running from the tourists helped Australia’s cause – not to mention some brilliant work from Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell – but skipper George Bailey would probably like to see more from his spinners in game two. Combined they went wicketless at a cost of 93 off 17 overs, and the pressure will be on Tasmanian left-armer Xavier Doherty to lead the attack against a team that is very good at handling finger spinners. 

Mitchell Starc will miss the match due to calf soreness, with promising local speedster Kane Richardson a chance of making his international debut.

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