Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20, Melbourne January 27, 2013

Australia aim to level series


Match facts

January 28, MCG
Start time 1935 (0835 GMT)

Big Picture

Sri Lanka's impressive all-round performance in the first match in Sydney has given them a 1-0 lead and their tour of Australia ends with the possibility of making it 2-0 during the final game at the MCG. Whatever happens in Melbourne, Sri Lanka will remain the world's No.1-ranked Twenty20 side and Australia will stay at No.7, but for Angelo Mathews' men this is an opportunity to at least claim superiority over Australia in one format on this tour. For Australia, victory or defeat in this outing means little in itself, but for individual players it is a means to show the selectors why they should win further opportunities. Australia have few T20 engagements this year and for men like Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, James Faulkner, Ben Cutting and Ben Laughlin, every game is a chance to firm up a claim on a T20 position for future contests. After all, the next World T20 tournament is only just over a year away.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Australia LLLWW
Sri Lanka WLWWW

In the spotlight

Aaron Finch is a batsman of enormous potential but he hasn't shown his best during his outings against Sri Lanka so far this month. A clean striker who hit the roof of Melbourne's Etihad Stadium while playing for the Renegades this season, Finch has the potential to be a an important top-order man for Australia's T20 side alongside David Warner and, when he returns, Shane Watson. He just needs to grab his opportunity.

Before the limited-overs games began, Kushal Perera was almost unheard of in Australia. But when he got a chance in the ODIs due to Dinesh Chandimal's injury, he showed himself to be a promising strokemaker as well as gloveman. On T20 international debut in Sydney, he made a crisp 33 from 22 balls opening the batting and was a key factor in Sri Lanka's chase going so smoothly.

Team news

James Faulkner was the 12th man for the first game and he is likely to be included for this match. Ben Laughlin, who struggled to replicate his BBL form in Saturday's game in Sydney, could be the man to miss out.

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Ben Cutting, 9 James Faulkner, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Xavier Doherty.

Sri Lanka's success in Sydney might encourage them to retain the same side, although after the victory the captain Angelo Mathews said Tillakaratne Dilshan would need to be assessed, having been struck in the face by a bouncer from Laughlin. "Not really sure. The physio will have a look at him and we'll decide tomorrow or the day after," Mathews said of Dilshan's availability.

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kushal Perera, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis.

Pitch and conditions

The pitch at Sydney's Olympic Stadium was a little up-and-down and the MCG should provide a slightly truer batting surface. "I think it will be a little bit flatter in Melbourne," said Glenn Maxwell, who has played plenty of T20 at the MCG with the Melbourne Stars. "I think it will be a lot more consistent and there will be a lot more runs scored." The weather forecast for Monday is clear.

Stats and trivia

  • In the first match, David Warner's unbeaten 90 from Australia's total of 137 was the highest percentage of a team's total ever scored by one batsman in a T20 international
  • Only three members of Australia's team for the first game in Sydney had played at least 10 T20 internationals; by contrast, Sri Lanka's side featured only one - Kushal Perera - who had not played at least 10
  • John Ward will be making his debut as an international umpire in this match. He will be the 11th Australian umpire to stand in a T20 international, the record number for any one country


"Very disappointing. We felt like we got outplayed in all three forms [batting, bowling an fielding], which is not a good thing"
Glenn Maxwell on the Sydney loss

"I think we're a very good unit when it comes to the one-day and T20, but I wouldn't say that it is at the expense of Test cricket."
Angelo Mathews

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sharky on January 28, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Thank heavens Channel 9 is 'so called' biased and giving us the kangaroo view rather than some rock in eskimo-land's view. Personally I prefer channel 9's commentators and think that they have some of the best cricket commentators in the world. Not only can they spur up those who want to be spurred up, but they have seen a lot of good cricket and talk with experience. And the odd tale is always also welcomed. Actually I like all cricket nations' commentators and prefer to listen to the host nations leading commentator's channel. Biased or non-biased, in the end you get international language spirit of cricket.

  • Graham on January 28, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Jayzuz - The list of offensive items is large, Johnson breaking fingers, wearing squash balls in the gloves, not playing on a wet pitch, commentators saying thats Crazy which actually meant unbelievable, not calling the ramp the dilscoop although 100's of players are using it. You name it, to some Sri Lankans whatever you say is offensive.

  • David on January 28, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    The channel 9 commentators are fine. You are always going to be biased towards the country you played for, but some SL fans just seem to be obsessed with the idea everything is unfair. One here whinged that it was absurd that one suggested that AUS would be with a chance if they got a wicket when SL needed about 15 off the last two overs. They didn't say AUS were going to win, nor that they were about to take s wicket. In fact what they said was perfectly reasonable. The problem here was not the commentators, but those condemning them merely for doing their job.

  • Ashan on January 28, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Harshanie Pereira : MCG crowd at boxing day - 67000. (Whole test match - over 110,000) Do you get that many people for your home test matches even if you consider all your matches in an year... ???? ha ha... Keep dreaming...Advice for u - Try to improve test cricket, otherwise there will be no 'cricket' in the future... just some wielding of a bat - I.E. T20...

  • Graham on January 28, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Harshani - Your right we are playing so poor so why have you only beat us in a meaningless T20. You couldnt beat us in the one-dayers and you were flogged in the tests. We're saying if you need Channel 9 to telecast dont get so pissed off with the commentary, I saw heaps of excitement from the commentators towards Dilshan ramp shot and Malingas bowling. It will always be biased as its Australian commetary for Australian audiences.

  • sydneysider on January 28, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    What is happening with channel 9 commentators all the comments are one-sided, atlases they have to think of getting a one commentators from any other country. This is only happening in Aus. It is becoming a joke now. Channels 9 really need to think what they have to do next summer.

  • Rohan on January 28, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    @ BDForever - One thing you can be assured about is that no matter how hard you try to peck up BD on ur imaginary list in any format , Bangladesh will Forever be the last on the list. No:4 today but it could be No:8 or No:18 depending upon when other countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Malaysia start playing cricket.

  • Dummy4 on January 28, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    @ Penny_Panther some years ago people like u were saying sl cricket will never come to certain level now entire world talk about this young talent , now u talking about finance situation of sl cricket. Wait for few years aus cricket will ask us to send some spectators to ur country (the way aus players playing it will chase all the aus spectators from da ground)

  • ruwan on January 28, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    @ Mr.niceguy abs. true about commentators. should mix the commentators between playing countries, @ Dona007 will take month or two?. till then kusal gonna show his colors. :D.

    there is akila too.. :D

  • David on January 28, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    I'd love to see SL bat first for the first time in The whole 7 short games. And it does get a little disorienting trying to work out who half the AUS players are every game. Still, very confident of an AUS win here. Warner isn't the only guy who can bat in the team, and I think you'll see that tonight. The criticism of Marsh is a bit harsh, given he only faced 17 balls and it was early in the innings. Voges' batting was inexplicable, though. With 7 wickets left he should have been taking risks, not hitting singles along the ground to outfielders. He prevented big hitters like Wade, Maxwell and Starc from getting a much bigger score. It would have been better for the team if he'd gotten out.

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