Sri Lanka have a full complement of regulars returning to the side after a ragtag group whitewashed Pakistan in Lahore.
The tourists will need their strongest XI to stand any chance of knocking over an Australia side that has been assembled to build towards the 2020 T20 World Cup.
Photo Copyright Steve Haag Sport – Hollywoodbets
First T20I | Sunday 27 October 2019 | Adelaide Oval, Adelaide | 05:30
Sri Lanka 29/10
Steve Smith and David Warner are both in an Australia squad that has the makings of a T20 World Cup prototype.
Warner and Smith both turned out for New South Wales in their Marsh Cup opener against Tasmania but the stars registered single-figure scores. Warner looked good at the World Cup but endured a rough Ashes and while Smith was brilliant in inspiring the retention of the urn his T20 form is a little suspect.
The group is a blend of T20 specialists and multi-format stars and is led by Aaron Finch but his fitness is in question after he missed the opening round of Australia’s domestic 50-over tournament.
The Marsh Cup provided Australia’s players with a valuable tune-up but few surprised as much as leg-spinner Adam Zampa, whot hit an unbeaten 35 off just 15 balls to power the Redbacks past the Queensland Bulls. Zampa’s improvement with the bat will do his chances of selection across the white-ball formats no harm.
Zampa’s competition or backup in the slow-bowling department is supplied by allrounders Ashton Agar, Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Turner.
Australia’s pace battery is well-stocked as usual with white-ball specialists Billy Stanlake, and Andrew Tye picked alongside Test stars Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. Cummins is one of two co-vice captains the other being wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
Sri Lanka enjoyed a tune-up of their own the day after round one of the Marsh Cup, and although they went down in a thriller to the Prime Minister’s XI they will be grateful for the competition provided.
Lakshan Sandakan bowled well in the warm-up with skipper Lasith Malinga not risked, but the batting let Sri Lanka down. Oshada Fernando’s 38 was the highest score for a team welcoming back its ‘first choice’ batting lineup.
The exploits of an inexperienced squad in Pakistan will heap pressure on Sri Lanka’s established core to step up their game or risk expulsion from the national team.
Sri Lanka won their last T20I series in Australia but the side they faced was a largely experimental one. Before winning in Pakistan, Sri Lanka lost four consecutive T20I series. They have won their last four T20Is though sweeping Pakistan aside after beating New Zealand in a dead rubber in September.
Verdict: Australia 26/100
Despite their recent upturn in fortune, Sri Lanka will struggle against Australia’s quality bowling attack.