Australia is coming off a good season of cricket. They did well in the ICC World Cup 2019, they drew the Ashes in England and retained the trophy and then even went on to beat a strong Indian side 2-0 in a T20I series at their own home. This has put them in good stead for the upcoming home season, which begins with a 3-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan side has been one in transition. However, they achieved remarkable success in recent times when almost a second-string Sri Lankan side went on to beat Pakistan 3-0 in a T20I series in their own backyard. This was a Lankan team without 10 of their senior payers who had backed out of the Pakistan tour. And yet, youngsters like Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara and Oshada Fernando stepped up to be the heroes for the side.Embed from Getty Images
Thus, when Sri Lanka lands in Australia for the T20I series, they will be upbeat. The first match of the series is slated to begin on October 27 at Adelaide. In the last 5 T20Is between Australia and Sri Lanka, the Aussies have had a slight edge as they have won three matches.
Playing at home, Australia will certainly begin as favorites for this match. Captain and opener Aaron Finch has been in terrific white-ball form and is expected to lead from the front. Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith and Alex Carey are the other batsmen who can have an impact in this match.
Australia’s bowling has good variety and would be ideal for this venue. Pat Cummins would be eager to replicate his brilliant Test form in the T20Is as well. Then there is Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc and Andrew Tye who can be genuine wicket-takers. The spin of Adam Zampa can prove to be useful.Embed from Getty Images
Sri Lanka will likely be led by Lasith Malinga who has been in traffic form. Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando are expected to be doing the bulk of the scoring in the batting department. Oshada Fernando should get a chance after his performance against Pakistan and may have a role to play.
Sri Lanka’s bowling will be lead by captain Malinga who is fresh off a sensational hat-trick against New Zealand. Wanindu Hasaranga, who leg-spin was impressive in the T20Is against Pakistan, might be real handy against Australia. Akila Dananjaya and Kasun Rajitha are the other ones to watch out for.
Match Prediction- Australia vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I:
The Adelaide Oval, the venue for the first T20I between Australia and Sri Lanka, has always been a true surface. The average 1st innings score here is 169 and the average second innings score here is 150. Hence, the team batting first should bat first and enjoy the hardness of the pitch. The team batting first should get a total in the range of 160-170. The combined total by both the teams in this game should be around 300-310 runs.
While Sri Lanka has shown a lot if improvement, Australia at home is a tough beast to tackle. They have got all bases covered and look like a strong unit. Australia should hence win this match.