Image courtesy of tribune.com.pk
Several big names are set to return for Australia in the crucial 3rd One Day International against Sri Lanka at the Gabba on Friday, including skipper Michael Clarke and explosive opener David Warner . Their inclusion could hardly be more timely given that Australia was bundled out for just 170 after slumping to 6/83 in the 2nd match against the tourists, which they lost by 8 wickets on Sunday. With the best of five match series locked at 1-1, the outcome of this match will go a long way to determining who will win the series.
David Warner will slot straight back into the side next to game one centurion Phil Hughes at the top of the order after Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja were dropped from the squad. Steve Smith has been dumped to accommodate returning skipper Clarke, who moves up the order to bat at three in limited overs matches. Moses Henriques – another controversial inclusion by the selectors - could play his first game for the national side since facing India in an ODI at the end of 2009, taking the place of Glenn Maxwell in the playing XI, who scored just 13 runs and failed to take a wicket in the opening two matches.
With Ben Cutting and Kane Richardson released from the limited overs group, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc are bolster the pace attack after missing Sunday’s match in Adelaide with respective side and calf injuries. Matthew Wade is recalled at the expense of Brad Haddin, who suffered a muscle tear in the last match.
For the first time this tour, Sri Lanka could name an unchanged side at the Gabba after the XI players that took to the field in Adelaide came through the match with a clean bill of health. Lahiru Thirimanne scored his maiden international century at the Adelaide Oval and will again have a key role to play in the tourist’s top order with Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal sidelined by injury. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene hasn’t scored an ODI ton in his past 44 matches and his experience is likely to be important for the tourists on a wicket that usually offers some assistance for the fast bowlers.
With last week’s win in Adelaide, Sri Lanka has won six of its past ten ODI matches against Australia, including five of the past nine in Australia. They are 0-4 against the hosts at the Gabba however, where the home side has won its past six completed 50 over matches.
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