Monday morning (09:30) sees the continuation of the Cricket World Cup and an intriguing looking match-up between Australia and Sri Lanka. We’ve taken a look at this one and given you our betting predictions.
I mentioned in my last Australia (2/7) preview that they weren’t quite at must-win territory but after another heavy loss to South Africa, it’s fair to say that they have to start winning right now, or they’ll be heading back down under after the group stage.
Standing in front of them is a Sri Lanka (5/2) side that have also lost both their matches to date but have been fairly competitive in both. Only a Mohammad Rizwan masterclass stopped them from defeating Pakistan and they have racked up 325+ in both games, showing their batting order is in fine fettle.
Australia, meanwhile, have looked toothless with the bat and have to start playing a more aggressive brand of cricket if they are to succeed at this tournament.
Australia must surely rotate the line-up here after two insipid batting performances. Josh Inglis could be replaced by Alex Carey after a bad night with the gloves and only scoring 5 runs against the Proteas.
Australia (from): Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.
Sri Lanka look unlikely to change their batting line up after two good efforts with the bat.
Sri Lanka (from):Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Dushan Hemantha, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara and Dilshan Madushanka.
Sri Lanka to win – 5/2
Both these sides are winless but anyone who has watched the respective games of the two nations will tell you, these two squads are in totally different head spaces right now.
Australia look stunned at just how much they have struggled in their opening two games and have tried to shift the focus onto controversial dismissals, rather than acknowledge some serious errors in approach and selection.
The Baggy Green have failed to reach 200 with the bat in both games and although Sri Lanka have struggled with the ball, they do possess some quality spin options.
The Lions refused to look downbeat, after conceding a World Cup record score against South Africa and gave it a good effort in reply. Then another World Cup record chase denied them against Pakistan but they played some quality cricket themselves.
I don’t think the Aussies can get themselves out of this slump and they look afraid in the middle of the crease, rather than relishing the challenge.
Give me a Sri Lanka win, probably the end of Pat Cummins team’s chances at this World Cup and perhaps the end of his tenure as ODI captain?
Sri Lanka to hit most sixes – 19/10
The Lions walloped a massive 26 maximums in their opening two fixtures and in Kusal Mendis have one of the best six-hitters in world cricket.
Meanwhile, Australia have managed just two in the same time frame, both coming at the end of the innings from tail enders.
This one looks a great bit of value at odds against.