Adelaide, Mar 7: Australia were dealt a huge blow ahead of the tri-series title decider as captain Michael Clarke was ruled out of Thursday's game due to injury.
Clarke, who has injured his left hamstring, is out of the third final. Fast bowler James Pattinson will also join his skipper on the sidelines as he has a strained buttock muscle.
The Australian skipper is also in danger of missing the early part of the ODI series against West Indies.
“It doesn’t look great for certainly the early part of the one-day series in the West Indies,” coach Mickey Arthur said on Wednesday.
Clarke's absence will certainly install Sri Lanka as the favourites to clinch the tri-series title at the Adelaide Oval.
The best-of-three finals stands at 1-1 after Sri Lanka bounced back to win on Tuesday by eight wickets. Australia had won the first final by 15 runs in Brisbane.
After many interesting contests for more than a month, tri-series will finally end on Thursday. Sri Lanka have been the better team in the tournament and it would be fitting for Mahela Jayawardene and his men to capture the trophy.
Australia have added George Bailey and Nathan Lyon to the squad for the third final. Shane Watson will step into captaincy role again. Peter Forrest might take Clarke's place.
One major worry for Australia, has been their bowling. They failed to defend 271 on Tuesday. In the first final, Sri Lanka scored 306, chasing 322. Sri Lankan batsmen are in roaring form and it will take a big effort from hosts' bowlers to stop them.
Both the finals have been high scoring affairs. The trend might continue on Thursday.
Tillakaratne Dilshan, with two centuries in the series, will look to continue that form and help his team seal the title. He is the leading run scorer of the series with 505 runs.
Jayawardene is also in fine form batting as an opener. Young Dinesh Chandimal and Kumar Sangakkara too have been among the runs. Their batting unit will look to deliver again, for one final time.
Sri Lanka are still waiting on all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who has missed both finals due to injury. It is still not confirmed whether he will play or not.
Australia's batting will depend on David Warner, who has hit two successive centuries. David Hussey has been consistent throughout the series and he will be the key in the middle-order.
After the excitement and disappointments for more than a month, curtains will finally come down on the tri-series, on Thursday.
Australia: Shane Watson (captain), David Warner, Peter Forrest, Daniel Christian, George Bailey, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brett Lee, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Nathan Lyon.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamara Kapugedera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Farveez Maharoof, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chanaka Welegedera, Dhammika Prasad.
Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Third Umpire: Simon Fry (Australia)
Match Referee: Chris Broad (England)
Match starts at 8.50 AM IST
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