Hungry hosts chase follow-up victory
January 13, Adelaide Oval
Start time 1350 (0320 GMT)
Unjustly labelled a B-team ahead of the series opener in Melbourne, George Bailey's Australian side demonstrated plenty of hunger and no little skill in dispatching Sri Lanka by 107 runs at the MCG. The emphatic nature of the result, and the composure shown by the team in achieving it, reflected handsomely on the national selectors' decision to refresh the squad following six Tests, allowing Phillip Hughes and Bailey in particular to enhance their reputations as limited overs batsmen.
A calf injury to Mitchell Starc should mean further opportunity for the bowlers in the squad, as one of Ben Cutting or Kane Richardson will get the chance to charge in at the Sri Lankans in Adelaide. Ahead of the looming returns of the captain Michael Clarke, David Warner and Matthew Wade to the squad, Bailey's team will be doubly keen to push on to another victory in game two, in order to give the selection panel further welcome headaches about their options. Not everyone excelled in Melbourne of course, with Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja especially enthused about the chance to make significant scores before they return to the reserves bench.
Sri Lanka's display in game one reflected the difficulties experienced by the Test team on harder, bouncier surfaces than they are used to at home. Also perplexing was the lack of impact provided by Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis. The likely loss of Dinesh Chandimal to a hamstring strain is a further source of consternation for the visitors, who must win or otherwise be only a game away from forfeiting the series.
Form guide(Most recent first)
Sri Lanka LWWWL
In the spotlight
Until he fashioned a direct hit run out from mid off as Sri Lanka's chase stalled badly in Melbourne, Usman Khawaja had not enjoyed the best of ODI debuts. With the likes of David Warner and Michael Clarke expected to come back into the squad for the third match in Brisbane and Phillip Hughes already staking his claim for a more permanent place with a century in Melbourne, Khawaja will want to argue his own case more forcefully with a substantial score in Adelaide, the scene of some of his most fruitful innings for New South Wales before his move to Queensland.
When Ajantha Mendis was called into the ODI side for Melbourne, leaving Rangana Herath to sit on the sidelines, figures of 1 for 62 from 10 overs were not the sorts of returns he was after. Though Mendis did not have much difficulty getting past Aaron Finch, he struggled for impact against the rest, as the Australians quickly found that the MCG pitch did not offer enough spin for the bowler's variations to be truly dangerous. Adelaide may be a somewhat different case however, as the surface generally offers a little more lateral deviation for slow bowlers.
Ben Cutting for the injured Mitchell Starc is the most likely change to Australia's line-up, though the call-up of Kane Richardson as cover fro Starc will tempt the selectors to play the 21-year-old South Australian on his home ground.
Australia (possible) 1 Phillip Hughes, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 David Hussey, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Ben Cutting, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty.
Dinesh Chandimal's strained hamstring is Sri Lanka's major concern, with the uncapped Kushal Perera poised to come into the team for him in Adelaide. Rangana Herath may also be in line for a call-up.
Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Lahiru Thirimanne, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Kushal Perera (wk), 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis.
Pitch and conditions
Adelaide's forecast is for a mild and overcast day, while the pitch can be expected to be dry, even and potentially offering a little more turn to the spin bowlers as the game goes on.
Stats and trivia
- Australia have won seven of nine encounters with Sri Lanka in Adelaide, though the visitors have been victorious in two of the past three matches
- Kushal Perera will be the fourth Sri Lankan to don the wicketkeeping gloves on this tour should he debut in Adelaide
- Mahela Jayawardene needs 29 runs to go past Adam Gilchrist and move into third on the list of alltime ODI run scorers in matches between Australia and Sri Lanka
Quotes"The confidence is quite high. I've never played an international game at Adelaide Oval, so it's something I'm really looking forward to. I really can't wait to get there on Sunday and hopefully score another big one and set up hopefully another win."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here