The BRSABVE Cricket Stadium in Lucknow will host the crucial World Cup encounter between Australia and Sri Lanka on Monday, 16th October.
Both Australia and Sri Lanka are under pressure to revive their World Cup campaigns after suffering two defeats in their opening matches. The team that loses this match will be on the verge of elimination from the semi-final race, as three losses were enough to eliminate Pakistan in the 2019 edition based on net run-rate.
Australia, the five-time World Cup champions, are grappling with issues in their batting lineup, with several players failing to deliver. Their decision to select three frontline pacers is also under scrutiny.
Despite the individual performances of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and captain Pat Cummins, the team has struggled to restrict opposition batsmen, resulting in disappointing losses to India and South Africa.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has been dealt a major blow with captain Dasun Shanaka ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup due to a quad injury. All-rounder Chamika Karunaratnehas has been called up as a replacement, while vice-captain Kusal Mendis is expected to lead the team in the crucial match against Australia.
Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.
Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Kumara, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushan Hemantha
Players to Watch
Australia: Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell, the dynamic all-rounder, is crucial to Australia’s chances of advancing in the tournament. Despite being more known for his explosive batting, Maxwell’s off-spin has been a valuable asset for Australia due to their lack of specialist spinners. He has shown his worth with the ball, delivering economical spells against India and South Africa. However, Maxwell will need to step up with the bat to help Australia make a late push for the semi-finals.
Sri Lanka: Sadeera Samarawickrama
Sri Lanka’s Sadeera Samarawickrama is in top form, having scored a century against Pakistan. His performance will be crucial for Sri Lanka, especially in the absence of injured captain Dasun Shanaka. Samarawickrama also took over wicket-keeping duties in the match against Pakistan, and he may be called upon to do the same against Australia, allowing Kusal Mendis to focus on his captaincy and batting.