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Australia vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I: Preview – Glenn Maxwell-less hosts still favourites to whitewash the Islanders

David Warner is yet to be dismissed in the series.

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Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Australia suffered a blow early on Thursday morning with Glenn Maxwell taking an indefinite break from the game. He won’t be playing the dead rubber against Sri Lanka and will also miss the upcoming Pakistan T20Is. With Australia already sealing the series, the hosts won’t feel the pinch of his absence at the MCG. The visitors have been hapless, to say the least, so far in the series.

In the first match, their bowlers conceded 233 in 20 overs and then their batsmen posted only 117 runs in a must-win game. Nothing has gone their way and the full-strength Australia side has been too good for them. Two thumping losses have made their 3-0 win over Pakistan feel like it happened a long time ago. Sri Lanka have to turn up in Melbourne to take some positives back from the short tour.

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Aaron Finch’s Australia, on the other hand, haven’t broken a sweat so far registering thumping victories. They themselves would be hoping to get tested with the Pakistan series coming up. The Men in Green are expected to put up a much better performance than their Asian counterparts.

Playing combinations

Australia

Australia have no reason to change the winning combination. With Maxwell not available, they will have to make a forced change though and Ben McDermott might get a chance to show his prowess. D’Arcy Short has been named Maxwell’s replacement but he will join the squad only on Friday ahead of the game. There is also no news on Starc’s availability yet.

Probable XI: Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Steve Smith, Ashton Turner, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey (WK), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka made three changes after the loss in the series opener. But the result didn’t change. With series already lost, they might look to stay with the same set of players giving them another chance. Having said that, Shehan Jayasuriya is the only player to have not played a game so far and he is likely to replace the underperforming Wanindu Hasaranga.

Probable XI: Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (WK), Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga (C), Lakshan Sandakan.

Focus will be on

Kane Richardson (Australia)

Kane Richardson has played both the games of the series so far. Unfortunately, he has been the least impressive of the seamers. While he has been economical when it comes to conceding the runs, the wickets column has been empty and that too when Sri Lanka lost 19 wickets combined in both the matches. With Australia looking for a settled bowling unit for the next year’s World Cup, Richardson has to be amongst the wickets soon.

Lakshan Sandakan (Sri Lanka)

Keep aside his failed attempt to run Steve Smith out, Lakshan Sandakan has been impressive with the ball so far in the series. He has kept the likes of Warner and Smith guessing with his variations. But with none of the other bowlers creating pressure, the chinaman’s efforts have gone waste. Sandakan will hope that he picks up some well-deserved wickets before taking a flight back home.

Head to Head

Matches played – 15 | Australia won – 6 | Sri Lanka – 8 | No Result – 0

Stat Attack

48 – David Warner currently has 1952 runs to his name in T20I cricket and needs only 48 more to complete 2000 runs in the format.

Broadcast details

TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD

Live Stream – Sony LIV

Match timings – 7:10 PM Local time; 1:40 PM IST

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