Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Melbourne

Australia seek to regain winning feeling

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

November 2, 2010

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts


Xavier Doherty, Tasmania's left-arm spinner, Victoria v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, Melbourne, 2nd day, October 26, 2010
Xavier Doherty is set for his ODI debut © Getty Images
Enlarge

Wednesday, November 3, Melbourne
Start time 14.20 local (03.20 GMT)

The Big Picture

Sri Lanka's victory in the Twenty20 has given Australia plenty to think about. They haven't won an international match since the Lord's Test against Pakistan in July and, while they will claim their focus is on winning this series, as much as anything that is for the momentum that it would give their Ashes campaign. Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz and an out-of-form and under-pressure Michael Hussey are back in the squad, which features the majority of the men likely to take the field in the Gabba Test, although Ponting and Hauritz won't play in this one-day series opener.

"If you look at it that way, since July, it looks like a long time," Ponting said of the losing streak. "It's only a few games, really. There's no sugar-coating anything, we know we've got some work to do. It's really important that we do start getting that winning feeling back around the group again. There's no doubt that it's always a different feeling around the change rooms when you are winning games of cricket. We have to start that off pretty soon, and hopefully that's tomorrow."

Sri Lanka have never won a series in Australia and if they can carry their Twenty20 form in to the ODI arena, this could be their best chance yet of breaking that record. They are also planning ahead to the World Cup, which will partly be held in their own country starting next February. Last time they co-hosted the World Cup they emerged as the champions, and they deserve to be among the favourites in 2011. Following this tour they head back to Sri Lanka for a Test series against West Indies, so they too are hoping to build momentum heading in to a home series.

The other question is whether anybody will turn up to the match. Many Victorians have already taken an extra long weekend due to Tuesday's public holiday for the iconic Melbourne Cup horse race, and asking the public to back up immediately and attend another day of elite sport is ambitious.

Form guide

(most recent first)
Australia LWWLL
Sri Lanka WWLWL

Watch out for...

On Sunday, Peter Siddle played his first international match since January. It was a promising comeback for Siddle, who had sat out for nearly nine months due to stress fractures in his back. His recovery was geared towards making him available for the Ashes but to break back in to the side he needs to perform at every opportunity. If he plays on Wednesday, it will be his first one-day international at his home ground, the MCG.

Thisara Perera bowled well in the Twenty20 in Perth, where his 2 for 22 from four overs helped restrict Australia. But the hosts will be equally concerned about his batting, even though he faced only four balls. Perera came out towards the end of the chase and his scorebook read 1, 6, 4, 6. He monstered Steven Smith over long-on twice to confirm the victory, and if he gets the chance to spend five overs at the crease, he could do some serious damage.

Team news

Ponting will be in Launceston on Wednesday for the funeral of his grandmother, so Michael Clarke will remain in charge after leading Australia to defeat in Sunday's Twenty20 at the WACA. On Tuesday, Nathan Hauritz had not yet joined the squad following his Sheffield Shield performance over the past couple of days, so the Tasmanian spinner Xavier Doherty is in line to make his international debut. Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson are back after missing the T20, while there are plenty of bowling options, with Johnson, Clint McKay, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and John Hastings all in the squad. Brad Haddin will play his first ODI since March and could be back near the top of the order.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Brad Haddin (wk), 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Cameron White, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Steven Smith, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 John Hastings, 10 Xavier Doherty, 11 Peter Siddle.

Kumar Sangakkara confirmed that Sri Lanka will open with Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan, and that Muttiah Muralitharan would take his place in the side for his first ODI since June. On an MCG pitch that could be affected by rain, that might make it difficult for Suraj Randiv to squeeze in as a second spinner, despite being the Man of the Match in Sunday's Twenty20 triumph.

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

Pitch and conditions

Australia's training session on Tuesday was interrupted by rain and isolated showers are forecast for Wednesday. The drop-in pitches at the MCG can be a little on the slow side, so don't expect the pace and bounce seen at the WACA on Sunday.

Stats and trivia

  • Michael Clarke has captained Australia 16 times in ODIs and has made two centuries in those games; in his remaining 163 one-day internationals he has managed only three hundreds
  • This is a Sri Lankan side with plenty of experience: Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have each played more than 30 ODIs in Australia
  • The MCG is Sri Lanka's best venue in Australia in ODIs against the hosts (of grounds where they have played more than once), with four wins from 11 meetings

    Quotes

    "If we start winning games of cricket again, the whole atmosphere and attitude around the team changes. We'll worry about the Ashes when that comes."
    Ricky Ponting

    "A player of Ricky's calibre not being in the side is a huge blow. He's one of the best batsmen of the last two decades."
    Kumar Sangakkara hopes the opposing captain's absence will help Sri Lanka.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 4:13 GMT)

Really Don't understand why Shaun Marsh is been included in the middle rather Callum Ferguson should be in by default:(

Posted by steveasiri on (November 3, 2010, 2:38 GMT)

The team i suggest is 1.Dilshan | 2.Mahela | 3.Chandimal | 4.Silva | 5.Sangakkara | 6.Mathews |7. murali | 8.Thisara Perera | 9.Randiv | 10.Kulasekara | 11.Malinga

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 2:03 GMT)

Great to see Doherty in the team finally; they should have taken him to India before...hope Aussie selectors stay awake!!

Posted by cricfan100 on (November 3, 2010, 1:40 GMT)

@Thilina Chámin Hewagama, it is the best 11 we have right now. may be with several changes in the batting line up(Mahela in the middle will be great, we can't expose him early and loose him.) it will be great.

Posted by Banksiaman on (November 3, 2010, 1:34 GMT)

G'day Brydon,

Good article - I don't think that Cricket Australia understands the significance of Melbourne Cup Day. It is not possible to keep on going to the same well. Also Thurs is another big race day ( Oaks Day) at Flemington. Time for Andrew Hilditch to move on.

Cheers.

Graeme Lewis WILLIAMTOWN NSW

Posted by BeCalmAndSupportEngland on (November 3, 2010, 1:28 GMT)

My team, 1.dilshan 2.mahela 3.chandimal 4.sanga 5.mathews 6.j.mendis 7.thissara 8.randiv 9.kulasekara 10.malinga 11.murali

Posted by Marcio on (November 3, 2010, 1:06 GMT)

No, @ Cricket.Buff, losing 5 in a row is not a record for Oz. Australia lost 5 in a row before the last 50 over world cup - then smashed everyone to win it easily.

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (November 3, 2010, 0:57 GMT)

need to replace murali with randiv - i mean, we respect murali but like jayasuriya, he is useless against australia now. get rid of tharanga and let chandimal open - opening and batting at 3 aren't all that different, given how quickly we tend to lose one of our openers =P

Posted by   on (November 2, 2010, 23:29 GMT)

for lankans M.C.G line up shoukd be chndimal for tharanga, kapu for silva,randive for murali.way to go lions,allthe way.

Posted by SnowSnake on (November 2, 2010, 22:42 GMT)

I predict that Australia will lose first ODI. What kind of team is this?

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
Tour Results
Australia v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Nov 7, 2010
Australia won by 8 wickets (with 170 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Nov 5, 2010
Sri Lanka won by 29 runs (D/L method)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Nov 3, 2010
Sri Lanka won by 1 wicket (with 34 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Perth - Oct 31, 2010
Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets (with 21 balls remaining)
NSW v Sri Lankans at Sydney - Oct 27, 2010
Sri Lankans won by 22 runs (D/L method)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days