Sri Lanka favourites against weakened Australia


Fast bowler Lasith Malinga returns to the side after being sidelined since last February with injury and sickness.

Struggling Sri Lanka will be relieved that they will not have to think of containing Steve Smith or David Warner or wonder about facing Mitchell Starc as all three players alongside several other Australians will not feature in the T-20 series that gets underway today at the MCG. The game stars at 2.10 p.m. Sri Lanka time.

Starc, Warner and Smith are all in Bombay ahead of Australia’s four-match Test series against India that starts next Thursday.

Australia will be led by Aaron Finch.

Sri Lanka themselves will not have the services of their regular captain Angelo Mathews, who returned home during the tour of South Africa with a hamstring injury.

Sri Lanka have brought in the likes of Chamara Kapugedara, Milinda Sirirwardene, Dilshan Munaweera and Dasun Shanaka, who were not part of the series win in South Africa. In the absence of Mathews, Upul Tharanga will lead the team.

Sri Lanka are buoyed by the return of fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who has been sidelined since last February due to injury and sickness. His return is a huge plus for the tourists.

Sri Lanka won the warm-up game against Prime Minister’s XI on Wednesday in Canberra.


Sri Lanka (Probable XI):

Niroshan Dickwella (Wicketkeeper), Upul Tharanga (Captain), Dilshan Munaweera, Asela Gunaratne, Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara or Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga and Vikum Sanjaya.

Australia (Probable XI):

Aaron Finch (Captain), Michael Klinger, Ben Dunk, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Tim Paine (Wicketkeeper), Ashton Turner, James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa and Andrew Tye.

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