Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Brisbane November 6, 2010

Australia hope to avoid losing record


Match Facts

Sunday, November 7, Brisbane
Start time 13.20 local (02.20 GMT)

The Big Picture

In the blue corner is Sri Lanka, the happiest team in the world, the one deservedly still celebrating their first series victory Down Under. Slumped in the really blue corner is Australia, the side trying to avoid setting their worst losing streak in history. It is usually the touring teams that feel this low here, but the faded green and golds have lost their sheen. And the Ashes starts in 19 days.

Sri Lanka's breakthrough tour began with a Twenty20 victory and was followed by a great escape in Melbourne. They then ensured Sunday's third ODI would be a dead rubbed with a controlled victory in Sydney. Sri Lanka are a highly professional outfit with men for any conditions, so not much will bother them at the Gabba.

Australia are currently on a seven-match losing streak in all forms of the game. The last time they won was the first Test against Pakistan in July. Not since 1996 have they lost seven in a row - England also beat them in seven consecutive Tests between 1885 and 1888 - and they have never been defeated in eight straight. Michael Clarke is in charge of making sure that doesn't happen following Ricky Ponting's decision to miss the match to prepare for Tasmania's Sheffield Shield game on Wednesday.

Form guide

(most recent first)
Australia LLLWW
Sri Lanka WWWWL

Watch out for...

Shane Watson looked on the verge of something significant in Sydney before missing a sweep off Muttiah Muralitharan. Now that Watson is a senior player, his team needs him to come off regularly at the top of the order. If that happens the chances of another loss decrease significantly. After chipping in with two wickets at the SCG, he should also enjoy the conditions in Brisbane, his former home.

Mahela Jayawardene has had a quiet series with 19 and 5 in the opening two matches, so expect him to sign off with something sparkling. That Sri Lanka have done so well without him contributing with the bat increases the achievement of a fast-developing unit. (Jayawardene's sharp fielding was responsible for Mitchell Johnson's run-out on Friday.) He likes the Gabba too, with three half-centuries in four innings there.

Team news

With Ricky Ponting heading to Shield cricket to practice his hook shot, Australia should bring in Callum Ferguson for his first ODI since he hurt his knee in the 2009 Champions Trophy final. Given the conditions in Brisbane, it is unlikely Xavier Doherty will return, but John Hastings could be a chance to replace one of the fast bowlers.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Cameron White, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 Steven Smith, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Peter Siddle.

Sri Lanka have no reason to change anything. Kumar Sangakkara has led them well and they will look to the top three to provide them with a solid platform. The seamers Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera should enjoy the Gabba pitch.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (capt, wk), 5 Chamara Silva, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Suraj Randiv, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

Pitch and conditions

In the previous game at the Gabba, Queensland were dismissed for 75 and 96 to end the Sheffield Shield fixture in two days. There has been some more sun around this week but it will still be a wicket for the bowlers. A shower or two is forecast for Brisbane on Sunday, with a top temperature of 26.

Stats and trivia

  • Some good news for Australia: they have never lost a match to Sri Lanka at the Gabba. That includes two Tests and ODIs in 2003 and 2006
  • In six ODIs at the ground, Muralitharan has 12 wickets at an average of 17.66, including 4 for 27 against Australia in 2003. Nathan Hauritz has one victim in two games and has gone for 115 runs
  • Michael Clarke has led Australia in 17 ODIs, winning 12 and losing five. Two of his five centuries have come while in charge, and his average of 47.78 is four runs better than when he's not the leader


    "It's about time we got back to playing the brand of cricket we know we are capable of and if we do that I am sure we will win some games."
    Ricky Ponting sends out a challenge before leaving the squad

    "Sri Lankan cricket seems to be in really good hands going forward."
    Kumar Sangakkara

    Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on November 9, 2010, 1:41 GMT

    I think the Dead Rubber win for Oz will be just the tonic to get their summer back on track. Peoples writing Oz off for the W/Cup may end up crying in their soggy pretzels. Oz can win the W/Cup.

  • Lalith on November 7, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    @Cricketlover167 , Well said mate.

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    What the hell is this indian fans doing in matches between SL & AUS.Just back away If you can't admire about Sl. Anyway sri lanka, go for 3-0.we can do it!

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2010, 1:41 GMT

    hauritz would not make a 3rd grade team, y is he playing for australia??? Doherty must think that the selectors want australia to lose

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    The players being selected to play for Australia are chosen by CA Selectors . That body is the one that makes the decision on team composition . They are responsible for deciding on whom should play . The players contracted are always on a "good wicket" as they all get excellent remuneration whether they play or not .The only incentive the players appear to show is that they want to remain on the " Rich List " . I cannot see how the Selectors vary in their Selections so much differently to the majority of us Supporter's , especially on this Site and the main Media .There is nothing attractive about our Ozzie team of late . Sad , isn't it ?

  • George on November 7, 2010, 0:20 GMT

    Australia's problem is the lack of fear they instill in their opponents now. Teams now know they can beat Australia, and they know they can do it with ease. Too many good players are being dropped or missing out completely because of the selectors idiocy in sticking with the old hats. Hauritz is NOT a wicket taker in any forms of the game. Some may argue that his part is to keep one end quiet, maybe chip one wicket, but when you have the likes of Doherty taking for on debut with good flight and variation you are mad leaving Hauritz in the side. Ferguson should be in the side, and they should look towards fringe players like D. Hussey, A. Mcdonald and R. Harris to fill the obviously gaping hole in their defences. A good allrounder is a MUST in the modern world of limit over cricket and Stephen Smith is too wet behind the ears, he should be playing state cricket and working on his bowling average instead of being typecast into a late in the innings slogger who can bowl an over or two.

  • Ishara on November 6, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    I think Tharanga should learn how to play with soft hands.Drop and run sort of a thing.I noticed most of the time he try to go hard at the ball then missing so many balls.I think his role would be rotating the strike , give more strike to Dilshan. as far as Mahela's performances in this series, it seems he forgot how to bat in the middle order. he seems to love opening, but i don't cant expect always Mathewes to do what he did last time and many times before. Sanga's play much secure than mahela's top of the order.I wonder why mahela came No3 last match. sanga should be permanent No3. he got attacking shots in front of the wicket, both leg and offside for pace bowlers. Mahela likes opening cos he don't feel pressure. But he expected to take some pressure as an experience player not to expect it from younger guys.he expected to play well spinners. Specially we need strong middle order, remember we puled that 96 WC final because of our strong middle order.

  • Dummy4 on November 6, 2010, 21:16 GMT

    The Aussie will come back. I am glad the Sri Lankans played relaxed and confident. The demeanour of Michel Johnson shows how tense he is. Unsure of where he is going or what he is doing. A far cry from the relaxed wreacker he was against South Africa. Ponting has to be in his ear when it comes to the Ashes. Siddle is slipping as well. Losing is not what the Aussie have had to deal with for a long time and the problems show. This is the same the West Indies have had after the Big Guns retired.

  • Dummy4 on November 6, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    Well Pablo, its not about losing the games in India, but the manner in which they lost them. Even the New Zealand team which is in India right now wont lose if they bat first and put put close to 500 runs!! Aussies need serious introspection, the ashes should be well contested though, England is the only team which is close to being as over rated as the Aussie team.

    And I can't understand what some Sri Lankan fans are trying to prove by dragging India into this, we beat a much stronger Aussie team with a team which was at best in developmental stage back then! Get a grip will ya?

  • Lalith on November 6, 2010, 20:46 GMT

    @Cricketlover167 , Well said mate.

  • No featured comments at the moment.