Revitalised Sri Lanka aim to maintain ascendancy against Australia

Having drubbed Pakistan 3-0 in their own backyard earlier this month, Sri Lanka will be high on confidence ahead of the three-match T20I series against Australia, the first of which will be played at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, 27 October.

The visitors have been further strengthened by the return of their regular skipper Lasith Malinga, who had registered bowling figures of 5/6, including a hat-trick in his last T20I, played against New Zealand at home last month. Senior batsmen Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis too make a return to the squad to add more solidity, alongside promising youngsters like Oshada Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksha.

They might’ve gone down to Prime Minister’s XI by one wicket in the practice game on Thursday, 24 October, but will surely take confidence from their track record against Australia, having won eight of the 13 head-to-head contests. What more, they had trumped the Aaron Finch led side 2-1 in the three-match series, when they last toured Australia in February 2017.

As for Australia, the series marks the beginning of their preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which is less than a year away now. Skipper Aaron Finch, David Warner and Steve Smith make a formidable top three, with Ashton Turner, Alex Carey and Ben McDermott giving them enough firepower in the back end, not to forget the dynamic Glenn Maxwell, whose career-best unbeaten 145, off merely 65 balls, came against the same opposition three years ago.

With Andrew Tye being ruled out due to elbow injury, Kane Richardson is likely to find a spot in the final XI, alongside the experienced duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

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