Australia and Sri Lanka face off in a one-off T20I at WACA in Perth on Sunday on October 31. This T20I will be followed by three ODIs before the Aussies begin their journey to get the Ashes back.
In the last T20 that the two sides played against each other, Australia had thrashed the Sri Lankans in the World T20. Some of those in the playing eleven for Australia aren’t a part of this game – like Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson – but that does not make the hosts any less favourites to win the game given Sri Lanka’s record in the country.
Bwin offers 6/11 for an Australian win as compared to Coral’s 7/4 for Sri Lanka to go one up on the tour.
Australia goes into the game with a frontline batsman short and will expect their all-rounders to do the job. With a batting so strong at the top, they may not require more than the top five in the order to last the 20 overs. Especially given that Cameron White (7/1 at SkyBet) has been in the form that he is in and Michael Clarke’s (11/2 at Blue Square) traces of return back to the runs with his century against India. Two of the biggest hitters of the ball in this format of the game, Shane Watson (7/2 at BetFred) and Dave Warner (7/2 at Paddy Power) will open the innings for the Aussies and with the ball expected to come onto the bat at WACA, the Lankan bowlers will need to beware of the opposition strength.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have been known to depend too much on their current and former skipper. Kumar Sangakkara (7/2 at BetFred) slammed a century in the warm-up match while Mahela Jayawardene (7/2 at Coral) scored a half century in the T20 game before this. Tillakaratne Dilshan (7/2 at Coral) had a brilliant year with the bat in 2009 but he has not been able to replicate the same form this year.
Much will depend on how the rest of the batting shapes up at crucial junctures in the game, especially if the aforementioned three are dismissed early. Australia will be favourites to win it and unless the Sri Lankan bowlers – Lasith Malinga and Suraj Randiv – can come up with quick answers to the opposition, it will not become easier for the Sri Lankan side.
Favourites: Australia (6/11 at Bwin)
Top Australia batsman: Dave Warner (7/2 at Paddy Power)
Top Sri Lanka batsman: Mahela Jayawardene (7/2 at Coral)
Bet365 is broadcasting Australia v Sri Lanka live online from 10:20 BST on Sunday