Visitors must show improvement in Brisbane
It was the dominant-performance that was expected of them to start their summer, Australia delivered a knockout blow straight up to the Sri Lankan’s in Adelaide. Opening batsman David Warner was back to his damaging-best, hammering an undefeated-century off just 56 deliveries. Skipper Aaron Finch (64) and excitement-machine Glenn Maxwell (62) gave the Adelaide crowd bang for their buck as the Aussie’s piled on 233/2. It was a combination of superb batting on a brilliant scoring surface and poorly executed bowling by the visitors, either way David Warner and Glenn Maxwell weren’t complaining. Maxwell was so dynamic coming in at No. 3, that meant Ashes-hero Steven Smith didn’t even get a look in. A 122-run opening stand between Finch and Warner just about decided the game, Brisbane might not be so kind though. After a phenomenal batting performance, the Aussies backed it up with the ball as they restricted Sri Lanka to just 99/9. Star-duo Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins broke through the top order, paving the way for leggy Adam Zampa who finished things off with a tidy spell of 3/14. The Aussie bowlers weren’t really tested, the same could be said about their batsmen as well. South Australian quick Kane Richardson was unlucky not to take a wicket, while Ashton Agar was also hard to get away in his four overs. Australia will make at least one change with Mitchell Starc pulling out of the second game to attend his brothers wedding, opening the door for one of Billy Stanlake or Sean Abbott.
A poor performance in the opening T20 at Adelaide Oval has more likely than not left Sri Lanka a tad shaken up. It was a monumental-victory to the Australians, 134 runs in fact. To make matters worse, it did seem like the visitors made a couple of shocking selection calls in the series opener. Both Isuru Udana and Niroshan Dickwella were both left out of the XI, both possess that X factor that Sri Lanka so desperately needed on Sunday. Both seen as hit-and-miss type players, the same could be said about their entire team that played in Adelaide. Heading up to Brisbane, things aren’t going to get any easier. Fast bowlers thrive on this wicket, and traditionally the Gabba’s pace & bounce will get the better of batsmen. It’s hard to see Kasun Rajitha maintaining his spot in Sri Lanka’s XI after going for a whopping-75 runs from his four overs. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was also savagely-thrashed around the ground by the Aussies going for 0/42 off just three overs. Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga were Sri Lanka’s most economical bowlers, but neither picked up a wicket. Chasing 234 for victory, Sri Lanka must have been mentally-defeated already. That’s what it looked like when they came out to bat, poor shot selection and a bad understanding of the wicket made it almost impossible to recover the innings when a wicket fell as the asking rate continued to soar. Unlike Australia, a number of changes are expected for this next match.
TOP 5 FANTASY PICKS – 2nd T20I
- Aaron Finch
- Pat Cummins
- Steve Smith
- Glenn Maxwell
- Kane Richardson
Wildcard pick – Billy Stanlake
- Nuwan Pradeep
- Oshada Fernando
- Kusal Perera
- Isuru Udana
- Lasith Malinga
Wildcard pick – Niroshan Dickwella
PREDICTED TEAM XI’S
Australia (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch (c) 2. David Warner 3. Steve Smith 4. Glenn Maxwell 5. Ashton Turner 6. Alex Carey (wk) 7. Ashton Agar 8. Pat Cummins 9. Kane Richardson 10. Adam Zampa 11. Billy Stanlake.
Sri Lanka (possible) – 1. Danushka Gunathilaka 2. Kusal Mendis 3. Kusal Perera (wk) 4. Niroshan Dickwella 5. Oshada Fernando 6. Dasun Shanaka 7. Wanindu Hasaranga 8. Isuru Udana 9. Lakshan Sandakan 10. Lasith Malinga (c) 11. Nuwan Pradeep.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.