Sri Lanka and Australia go head on at Perth

Published: Saturday, October 30, 2010, 13:30 [IST]
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Sri Lanka and Aus go head on at Perth

Sri Lanka takes on Australia in a one-off Twenty20 international on Sunday followed by three one-day matches Down Under. The series which the will kick start Australia's summer, comes as a chance for Sri Lanka to take stock of its limited-overs players with an eye on the World Cup next year.

For the Australians too, this brief series will place a number of youngsters in the running for a stable place in the side. Michael Clark's capable leadership outshines his inconsistent and extremely cautious batting, which he will have to work on. However, he may not have to over-impress if David Warner, Shane Watson and Cameron White come to the fore. Australia will have a lot to prove after losses in their past three tests, three T20s, and one ODI./

Coming out of a successful tri-series in August at home, Sri Lanka have shown that they are a force to reckon with after two easy warm-ups. But the competitiveness is bound to increase when they take guard at the WACA on Sunday afternoon. Off-spinner Suraj Randiv and premier batsman Mahela Jayawardene put on a good show l in their win over New South Wales on Wednesday while Kumar Sangakkara hit form with a ton against Queensland in a one-dayer last week.

In fact, Sangakarra may be one of Sri Lanka's key players in the upcoming series. He juggles so many hats - as wicket-keeper, senior batsman and captain, he has shown that he is a class act and a master of all trades. For the Australians, David Warner is itching to show his mettle. He was taken along to India for the one-day series there, but didn't get to play a single match due to senior players edging him out and the inclement weather.

Dirk Nannes is perhaps the most experienced of the Aussie bowlers with 14 Twenty20s for the national side under his belt. It is most probable that he will be assisted by Peter Siddle, Clint McKay and John Hastings. Siddle is the only one of teh newcomers lot with Twenty20 experience, having played one game. Slow left arm Steve O'Keefe will be looking at playing his second match after debuting against Pakistan earlier this year.

Lurking in the spotlight will be Sri Lanka's chief veteran Muttiah Muralitharan who embarks on his final tour of Autralia. The off-spinner is all set to retire after next year's world cup. One will have to see who will give him support. It could be specialist off-break Suraj Randiv or part time spinners Jeevan Mendis or Tillakaratne Dilshan.

The pitch at Perth is known to be speedy and bouncy which would mean that Lasith Malinga might get a lot of purchase from it. The weather forcast is sunny with a moderate temperature of 29C.


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