Australia v Sri Lanka, one-off T20, Perth October 30, 2010

A warm-up for bigger things

Match Facts

Sunday, October 31, Perth
Start time 17.35 local (09:35 GMT)

The Big Picture

Sri Lanka's limited-overs team is peering towards the World Cup and Australia's players are trying not to think about the Ashes starting next month. A Twenty20 and three one-dayers have been squeezed in to shine some light on the start of the Australian cricket season, but both outfits are concerned more about the bigger challenges on the horizon.

One-off matches provide little in the long term but each squad has a host of players trying to prove they are worthy of more international action. Michael Clarke's performances in this format always come under scrutiny, with his vibrant leadership sitting next to overly cautious batting. If Australia's version of the three Ws - Warner, Watson and White - fire it won't matter too much what Clarke does with the bat.

Sri Lanka are in some good form after two comfortable warm-ups, but the intensity will increase when they step out on the WACA on Sunday afternoon. Mahela Jayawardene and Suraj Randiv, the offspinner, performed well in their win over New South Wales on Wednesday while Kumar Sangakkara hit form with a century against Queensland in a one-dayer last week.

Form guide

(most recent first)
Australia LLLWW
Sri Lanka WLLWL

Watch out for...

David Warner has had a strange month. Everyone knows he's a T20 expert but he craves more and was rewarded with a trip to India for three ODIs. He didn't play in any of them and when he returned home was dropped for the 50-over games against Sri Lanka. More quick runs are the only way to get back in.

Kumar Sangakkara juggles so many balls but is able to catch them all. As captain, wicketkeeper and senior batsman, it would be easy to be weighed down. Watch him in the field or at the crease and it soon becomes obvious that he is a master of everything. He and Jayawardene are the biggest threats for Australia.

Team news

Dirk Nannes is the veteran of the bowling attack with 14 Twenty20s for Australia, while Peter Siddle, Clint McKay and John Hastings are his possible support partners. Siddle is the only one of that trio with T20 experience, having appeared in one game. Steve O'Keefe, the left-arm spinner, will be looking for his second match after debuting against Pakistan in July.

Australia squad David Warner, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Michael Clarke (capt), Cameron White, David Hussey, Steven Smith, John Hastings, Steve O'Keefe, Peter Siddle, Clint McKay, Dirk Nannes.

This will be the last chance for Australians to see Muttiah Muralitharan Down Under before he retires after the World Cup. That is a relief for the local batsmen. Whether Sri Lanka pick Randiv as well will depend on the pitch, but they also have the options of using the part-time turn of Jeevan Mendis or Tillakaratne Dilshan. With 16 men in the squad, they have a lot to choose from.

Sri Lanka squad Kumar Sangakkara (capt, wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Suraj Randiv, Dammika Prasad, Dinesh Chandimal.

Pitch and conditions

It's easy to think of Perth, speed and bounce together, but the combination hasn't happened a lot lately. If the pitch is springy it will aid the home team, although Lasith Malinga might also have some fun. The weather forecast is sunny with a maximum of 29C.

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka have won eight matches in Australia against the hosts in all formats, but have never taken a series
  • In a throwback to the 1800s, all of Australia's squad comes from New South Wales or Victoria
  • Australia lead the head-to-head contests with two wins in three matches
  • Australia have lost their past three Tests, three T20s, and one ODI

    Quotes

    "He has nothing to prove to anyone right now. The last year or so I think we've seen a different Murali, more relaxed, I reckon, especially in the dressing room.''
    Mahela Jayawardene

    "They've got a pretty good team, a very good team, not to be taken lightly.''
    Cameron White is wary of the opposition.

    Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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