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Preview: Australia favourites against Sri Lanka

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Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 11:26 [IST]
 
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Preview: Australia favourites in Perth

Perth, Feb 9: In-form Australia start as favourites against Sri Lanka in their tri-series match at the WACA Ground here on Friday.

Also read: Jayawardene feels they needed 30-40 runs more

In the last two months, the home team is on a high after 4-0 Test series win against India and also succeeding against the same opponents convincingly in the tri-series opener last Sunday in Melbourne.

Sri Lanka, have started off on a losing note at the same venue on Wednesday. India defeated them by four wickets where the Islanders' batting failed to click.

Australia, led by Michael Clarke, are tough opponents at home and Sri Lanka will have to come up with something special to upset Clarke and his men.

With veteran fast bowler Brett Lee out of the tournament after sustaining a foot injury during a Twenty20 international game against India, Ben Hilfenhaus has taken his spot in the squad. However, he might not get to play as Australia have a settled attack.

Australian bowling was in top gear at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with their quicks skittling India out for just 151 runs. Clint McKay, Ryan Harris and Mitchell Starc are likely to resume their fast bowling duties with Dan Christian chipping in with his medium pacers. Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty was also good in Melbourne and will be hoping to tie the Sri Lankan batsmen down. Doherty might find it tough as Sri Lankans play spin well.

Sri Lanka did not go in with a specialist spinner against India and might be tempted to include left-armer Rangana Herath.

Tillakaratne Dilshan will be a key man for Sri Lanka to provide them with a blazing start. And the middle order will rest on the shoulders of the experienced duo of Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene.

Australia are considering to hand a debut to the 26-year-old batsman Peter Forrest.

Squads:

Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Ricky Ponting, Peter Forrest, Dan Christian, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Mitch Marsh.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chanaka Welegedera, Dhammika Prasad.

Umpires: Nigel Llong (England) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia)

Third Umpire: Paul Reiffel (Australia)

Match Referee: Andrew Pycroft (Zimbabwe)

Match starts at 9.50 AM IST

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