After two washed out games, Sri Lanka will be desperate to turn out all guns bursting however defending champion Australia’s depth will be difficult to beat when the two sides conflict in a World Cup fixture at The Oval, London on June 15. Sri Lanka have not played a match at the World Cup since June 4, forced to split points with Bangladesh and Pakistan following two washed out games.
The island country, who won the tournament in 1996, stands fifth with only one win – against minnows Afghanistan in a rain-hit match — from four games.
Defending champions Australia, then again, have been basically relentless with their loss against India being the main flaw in an otherwise professional performance so far in the tournament.
The five-time victors are placed second with three successes from four games.
With two fifties and a hundred, David Warner has been essentially remarkable, helping Australia post 300 or more scores in the last two matches.
The opener hasn’t yet looked his destructive best however the 107 off 111 balls against Pakistan will facilitate his mind. The knock was his first century since making a rebound after the ball-altering scandal and he would hope to play with more freedom now.
Skipper Aaron Finch also has two fifties to appear in the last four innings. He and Warner gave Australia a rampaging begin against Pakistan in their last match and the team will back themselves for a reprise against Sri Lanka.
In any case, Australia have looked defenseless against quality pace bowling – they were reduced to 79 for five by West Indies.
Their center request is weak and wasted sublime begins against Pakistan and India. Sri Lanka will hope to misuse these shortcomings on Saturday.
Sri Lanka will trust that quick bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who had harmed himself in front of the Bristol game, returns Saturday to reinforce the bowling assault.
Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga, who needed to fly home after the destruction of relative, is also likely to play Saturday and the onus would be on the pace duo to get wickets.
In the batting office, the Dimuth Karunaratne-drove side has failed to last the full 50 overs against New Zealand and Afghanistan.
They lost five wickets for 14 runs against New Zealand and after that seven wickets for 36 runs against Afghanistan.
The previous heroes should address their batting troubles before they assume any semblance of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, both of whom have taken nine wickets each up until now.
Australia: Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera (WK), Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.
Where to watch live: The match begins at 3 pm IST. It will be communicated live on the StarSports network in India. Online watchers can sign in to Hotstar for all the live action.
Venue: The Oval, London.
Pitch Report and conditions: The track at the Oval tends to slow down as the match progresses but overall doesn’t provide much assistance to the bowlers. The team winning the Toss will most likely want to bat first unless the weather conditions are overcast.
Team News: Australia will most likely be without Marcus Stoinis who has injured his hamstring. Sri Lanka await reports on Nuwan Pradeep’s fitness but Lasith Malinga will be available after flying to Sri Lanka due to the demise of his mother.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep , Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Malinga.
Australia: Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Steven Smith, Kane Richardson, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins and Alex Carey (WK).
Sri Lanka were blown away by New Zealand in the first game and it’s highly unlikely that they’ll pose much of a challenge against Australia. The Aussies should notch up their fourth win of the tournament.