Tuesday, 16 Aug, 2022

Sports

Australia Looks to Consolidate Top Position

Saleque Sufi | banglanews24.com
Update: 2022-06-29 11:58:04
Australia Looks to Consolidate Top Position [photo collected]

Australia is now leading the points table of ICC Test Championship 2021-23 Cycle. The very important test series between Australia and Sri Lanka starts today at Iconic Galle. An Australian win will consolidate the position at the top brightening the possibility of playing the final. It may be remembered that Australia missed last time when New Zealand and India battled it out at Lords. 

Among other aspects this was one of the major driving motive of Australia for visiting the troubled Island during the political turmoil. Australia has definitely done it well in letting the tour go ahead which has already given lots of joy to the Islander. Sri Lanka playing brilliantly won the ODI series after competing well in T20 series. On paper Australia is a formidable test unit. But Sri Lanka is also maturing to its former best. It appears that the series will witness mouth-watering. 

Australia is battle-ready with strong pace attack capable of both traditional swing with red cherry and reverse with the old ball. In Lyon and Swepson they have two good spinners for exploiting subcontinent wicket. Sri Lanka has quality spinners and fast maturing pacers. It will be batting that will be decider. Srilanka is not very far being currently placed at 4th. Australia won a very important series in Pakistan. Sri Lanka also had an important series win against Bangladesh. 

ICC Test Championship Ranking 

Team

PCT %

Points

Wins

Loss

Drawn

Series

Penalty

Australia

75.00

72

5

0

3

2

0

South Africa

71.53

60

5

2

0

3

0

India

58.33

77

6

3

2

4

-3

Sri Lanka

55.56

40

3

2

1

3

0

Pakistan

52.38

44

3

2

2

3

0

West Indies

50.00

54

4

3

2

4

-2

England

28.89

52

4

7

4

4

-12

New Zealand

25.93

28

2

6

1

4

0

Bangladesh

13.33

16

1

8

1

5

0

Team News: 

Sri Lanka appears to get over from natural impacts of top performing Kumar Sangrakara, Mahela Jayewardene, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath Lankans were struggling to find their bearing for a while. They are going through a national crisis from social upheaval. But for their strong cricket culture they appear to have bounced back. Quality budding youngsters are maturing. They have once again become competitive in all formats. For the test series Sri Lanka appeared to be heading towards a debut for leg spinner Jeffrey Vandersay, as one of three frontline quicks, leaving the pace bowling to Asitha Fernando. Pathum Nissanka, who impressed in the ODIs, will return at the top of the order after missing the Bangladesh series due to injury.

Probable Sri Lanka Squad: 
Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Kusal Mendis, Angela Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (Wicket Keeper.),  Ramesh Mendis,  Lasith Embuldeniya,  Asitha Fernando,  Kasun Rajitha/Jeffrey Vandersay
The key to Lankan success will largely depend on how top four batsmen Karunaratne, Nissanka, Kusal and Angelo handle Starc and Cummins.  We do not think Lyon or Swepson can trouble Lankans much. Dhananjaya, Chandimal and Dickwella give Sri Lankan batting good depth. Sri Lankan young pacers Ashitha and Ranjitha will be tested against strong Australian batting. Embuldeniya and if played Vandersay may turn match winners. Australians struggle against quality spin on turning track. 

In recent past Australia playing well beat Pakistan in Pakistan. That must have given them lots of confidence. We are not sure whether Australia will play with two pacers and two spinners with Cameroon Green appearing as the fifth bowler. There was completion between leg spinner Swepson and left arm spinner John Holland. But Holland has not recovered from finger injury.As such Swepson is likely to play. Travis is most likely missing out. In That case Maxwell will return after a while.

Possible Australian Squad: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head/Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green,  Alex Carey (Wicket Keeper),  Pat Cummins ( Captain),  Mitchell Starc,  Nathan Lyon, and  Mitchell Swepson

Australian top order is in great form. Usman Khawaja had a great time in his land of origin scoring back-to-back centuries. David Warner is in pristine form. Labuchagne and Smith make it top heavy batting unit. However, Australians will have to assess the condition well and confront well the spin challenge.  Maxwell, Green, Carey all can bat well when required. Even Cummins is no mug with the bat. Australian attack would be led by Commins and Starc at the top and then again if ball reverses. Lyon should like the condition. 

The wicket will turn at Galle for sure and spinners will like to may hay while the sun shines. We think the teams have matching resources for a very intriguing test series. 

BDST: 1157 HRS, JUN 29, 2022
SMS

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