All eyes on Australia as hosts look to bounce back against Sri Lanka

Australia will look to recover from their crushing loss to New Zealand when they take on the Asian Cup Champions Sri Lanka on Tuesday in their second Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Perth.

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World Cup T20
Oct 24 22

The Big Time Preview: Episode 11 | Australia v Sri Lanka | T20WC 2022

Australia is not only the defending champions of the Men’s T20 World Cup but also the host of this mega event, so understandably was one of the favorites to take part in this tournament. Their confidence was also sky high thanks to playing exciting cricket in this format since the last edition of the tournament. But the Aussies were knocked down by their Trans-Tasman rivals on the first weekend of the Super12 stage, when New Zealand defeated them completely in their opening match.

It was not just about the result, but also about the execution; the bowling lacked penetration and the hitting unit collapsed under pressure. This was Australia’s second loss at the trot after their defeat to India in the warm-up match.

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World Cup T20
Oct 24 22

Australia v Sri Lanka Preview | Match 19 | ICC Men T20WC 2022

The failure of the bowling unit to do well in these two matches is a bit of concern for the hosts, but Australia still has to rely on the experience of their bowlers. The likes of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa are seasoned campaigners and are also very familiar with their home conditions, so they can be expected to recover sooner rather than later.

However, the Australian batters need to be a little careful about how they want to tackle the Sri Lankan spinners on Tuesday. Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana have recently emerged as one of the best spin bowling pairs in the world and can do quite a bit of damage. The spin duo were seen in good rhythm during the game against Ireland as they took four wickets between them, with an average combined economy of 5.50.

The Sri Lankan pacers have also supported their spinners well during this campaign. The batting unit did disappoint when they suffered a shocking loss to Namibia in their opening game of the tournament, but they quickly regrouped and have since put in a stellar performance to qualify for the Super12 stage.

The openers in particular were in very good shape. Pathum Nissanka scored fifty against the UAE, while Kusal Mendis also comes in this match on the back of successive half-centuries. Nissanka dropped out of the final game with an injury, but Dhananjaya de Silva took his place and delivered a good strike of 31. The middle order has yet to be released, but there is no doubt about the quality of players like Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka.

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Highlights of the match
Oct 23 22

Sri Lanka beats Ireland to make Super 12 statement | Match highlights | T20WC 2022

Watch the match highlights of Sri Lanka sailing to victory against Ireland to kick-start their Super 12 campaign | Match highlights | | Sri Lanka v Ireland | ICC T20 Men’s World Cup 2022

As things stand, Sri Lanka has taken a huge advantage in the group with an NRR of +2,467 after their huge win against Ireland. Australia, on the other hand, has a net run rate of -4,450 after their heavy loss against the Kiwis. So there will be extra pressure on the hosts going into this match as they not only have to win it but also have to do it by a wide margin in an effort to restore the balance. Another loss to Australia, coupled with that bad NRR, could be terminal.

Australia

Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

Sri Lanka

Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Ashen Bandara, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Binura Fernando, Lahiru Kumara

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World Cup T20
Oct 15 22

Sri Lanka players candidly go behind the scenes | ICC Men T20WC 2022

Glenn Maxwell: He’s been stuck in a rut lately. Maxwell has only averaged 16.07 in T20Is this year and his strike rate has also dropped to 116.58, which is quite low by his standards. He needs to get back to the top of his game quickly to help his team through to the semi-finals.

Kusal Mendis: The batter of the highest order has given Sri Lanka a steady start in the last few games. Mendis set the tone for his team in their previous few games, scoring 79 against the Netherlands and 68* against Ireland. He will be looking for another good knockout in this crucial clash against Australia.

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World Cup T20
Oct 23 22

Kusal Mendis carries bat to send Sri Lanka home | POTM Highlights | T20WC 2022

Captain’s Choice: Wanindu Hasaranga

The wrist spinner was in excellent bowling form in this competition. Hasaranga has played four matches so far and has already amassed nine wickets with an excellent average of 9.77. In addition, it has also maintained an excellent economy of 5.50. While he hasn’t done anything special with the bat yet, Hasaranga is a capable batter and can be trusted to contribute with valuable points.

Must-have pick: David Warner

Although Warner didn’t score well against New Zealand, he was in excellent form in T20Is this year. The top-ranking batter has amassed 301 runs in just eight games in 2022, averaging 43 and an even better hitting rate of 154.35.

Differential choice: Charith Asalanka

The Sri Lankan batter has glimpsed his return to form as he has played good 31 punches in each of his last two innings. The left-handed batter is an excellent player of spin and also hits the pacemakers effectively. He was Sri Lanka’s highest finisher in the previous edition of the T20 World Cup, with 231 runs at 46.20.

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