Charge down the wicket with cricket tips for the ODI series opener between Sri Lanka and Australia – the first of five one-day clashes.
23:30 (AEST), Sat 11th Jul @ Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
History: Played 97: Australia 61 V Sri Lanka 32 (4 No Results)
Last meeting: June 15, 2019: Australia d Sri Lanka by 87 runs at The Oval
Final Thoughts: Australia took out the teams’ T20I series last week 2-1. Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson played dominant roles as the tourist wrapped up the series with wins by 10 wickets – with Aaron Finch and David Warner posting unbeaten half-centuries – and three wickets in the first two games.
But Sri Lanka bounced back with four-wicket victory in the dead-rubber, running a formidable target of 177 with one ball to spare. Captain Dasun Sanka’s 54 not out of 25 balls underpinned the upset after Warner (39 off 33), Steve Smtih (37* off 27) and Marcus Stoinis (38 off 23) made solid batting contributions for Australia.
Australia’s only ODI outings since last July was a 2-1 series loss in Pakistan in April. Travis scored 101 and 89 during that series but has been left out in Sri Lanka – at least initially – to focus on red-ball cricket. Ben McDermott also blasted a century against Pakistan but was omitted from this tour.
That puts the onus on the likes of Finch, Warner, Steve Smith and Marnus Labsuchagne, whose 50-over output has either been limited or disappointing in recent times.
Sri Lanka return to the ODI arena for the first time since an inexperienced side was sent to Zimbabwe and came away with a 2-1 series win. Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Niroshan Dickwella and Wanindu Hasaranga, who shone with the ball in the T20Is, are among the players back in the Lions’ one-day side.
Australia dominate recent rivalry
The nations’ only ODI meeting in the past five and a half years was at the 2019 World Cup, where Aaron Finch (153 off 132) lead Australia to an 87-run win. Australia also prevailed in the most recent series – a 4-1 result in Sri Lanka in 2016 – but the Lions have managed eight wins in the teams’ last 18 ODI encounters overall.
Australia is the third-ranked ODI team, with Sri Lanka eighth. Warner and Finch are the only batters from either team sitting in the ODI rankings’ top 10. Hazlewood is the third-ranked ODI bowler in the world.
Australia are $1.34 favourites to take out the one-day opener, despite Saturday’s wake-up call in the third Twenty20 clash.
David Warner boasts 18 centuries in 128 ODIs but has not played for Australia in the format since 2020. Pathum Nissanka is just 12 games into his ODI career but notched a pair of half-centuries against Zimbabwe and got a couple of starts in the T20 series last week. The openers shape as key figures for their respective teams on Tuesday.