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Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Brisbane

Australia's A-team back in action

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

January 17, 2013

Comments: 101 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

January 18, Gabba
Start time 1320 (0320 GMT)

Big Picture

The A-team is back. There's Michael "Hannibal" Clarke, who loves it when a plan comes together. There's David "B.A" Warner, the muscles of the operation. There's Matthew "Howling Mad" Wade, who had every right to be after Ian Healy's stinging criticism last week. The only one still missing is Shane "Faceman" Watson. Perhaps he's off with that intrepid reporter who was always hanging around the group. What was her name? Amy Allen? Or was it Lee Furlong? Whatever the case, John Inverarity and his selection panel had a problem. No one else could help. So he found them and hired them for the next two games, and no more are Australia relying on the B-team.

George Bailey's side was excellent in the first match in Melbourne but extremely disappointing in Adelaide on Sunday. Australia enter this third ODI with the series level at 1-1 and Clarke back at first drop; their leading run scorer over the past year, Warner, at the top of the order again; and Wade back behind the stumps. It brings the Australian outfit much closer to what would be their first-choice side if all players were fit and available, that mythical "best XI" that Inverarity says the selectors know, yet Australian fans are unlikely to see anytime soon.

In Watson's absence, the selectors decided a seam-bowling allrounder was required at the Gabba and Moises Henriques was called up for his first ODI since late 2009 but after being struck on the hand at training twice over the past two days, he was sent for scans and could be forced to sit out. "He's certainly got his fingers crossed and hoping the scan comes back clear, as we all are, because I know he's looking forward to his opportunity," Clarke said of Henriques. "He got hit yesterday when bowling. I actually straight-drove one back and he got his finger on it so it was a little bit sore but fine. Then while batting in the nets today he got hit again."

Sri Lanka's challenge is to ensure the Adelaide game was not a one-off. Their seamers moved the ball around at Adelaide Oval and while the Gabba has a reputation for providing assistance as well, it is also a venue at which big totals are regularly accumulated in one-day cricket. Sri Lanka have never beaten Australia in a one-day international at the Gabba, and going 2-1 down in a five-match contest would be far from ideal.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
Australia LWWLW
Sri Lanka WLWWW

In the spotlight

Matthew Wade is back after being rested from the first two matches and during his time off, his wicketkeeping was severely criticised by Ian Healy during a radio interview. The fact that Brad Haddin made runs and kept sharply, including one especially stunning catch, during the first two ODIs will only intensify the attention on Wade's glovework during his return.

It was at the Gabba last summer that Lahiru Thirimanne was at the centre of controversy when he was mankaded by R Ashwin in a one-day international, only to be recalled by India's acting captain Virender Sehwag. Fortunately for Thirimanne, he has attracted attention on the current tour of Australia only for his run-making, which included 91 in the Sydney Test and a maiden ODI century in Adelaide on Sunday. Thirimanne is a fine stroke-maker and with Kumar Sangakkara unavailable due to injury, he is quickly becoming one of the most prized wickets for Australia's bowlers on this tour.

Team news

If Henriques is ruled out it will mean Ben Cutting and Glenn Maxwell will vie for his place. The fact that the selectors specifically wanted an extra seamer, though, suggests they would likely choose Cutting, who was originally not part of the squad for this game, but may yet get the chance to play an international at his home ground.

Australia (possible) 1 Phillip Hughes, 2 David Warner, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 George Bailey, 5 David Hussey, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Moises Henriques / Ben Cutting, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty.

Dinesh Chandimal remains in some doubt after missing Sunday's match due to a hamstring problem. If he is declared fit, the selectors could bring him back in a straight swap for the wicketkeeper Kushal Perera, although another option would be to drop the out-of-form opener Upul Tharanga.

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

Pitch and conditions

The weather forecast indicates a fine and sunny day with a high temperature of 33C. There should be plenty of runs available on a good batting pitch. In the past three ODIs at the Gabba, the teams batting first have scored 288, 289 and 321. "In my opinion this is the best one-day wicket in the world," Clarke said on the eve of the match. "It has beautiful pace and bounce for the bowlers, but as you get in as a batter there's no better place to bat."

Stats and trivia

  • Australia have won their past six ODIs at the Gabba; Sri Lanka have won two of the 13 ODIs they have played there
  • Ajantha Mendis needs two victims to reach 100 ODI wickets and if he reaches the milestone during this series he will be the quickest Sri Lankan to the mark
  • If Henriques plays, it will mean a gap of 79 ODIs between appearances for him; during that three-year period Australia have used 43 other players in one-day internationals

Quotes

"The break has been great for my body. It has given me every chance to have a lot of rehab in regards to my hamstring. It has given me a week off mentally as well, to refresh."
Michael Clarke

"We have to look forward to winning all three games. We have clicked at the right point so it's a good positive for the whole team."
Angelo Mathews

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

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

Look Like A team is Lot better than getting bowled out cheaply than B team.

Posted by Udendra on (January 18, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

by 'A' team, do you mean the 'average' team?

Posted by 2020sux on (January 18, 2013, 3:28 GMT)

mat "wailing sad" wade needs to harden up, last time i looked ian healy is a channel nine commentator employed for expert OPINION about cricket particularly wicketkeeping. pretty sure his job discription does not include protecting the feelings of underachieving rookies and cetainly doesn't include clearing every interview with them

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 18, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

To be honest I see another strong possibility of a problem emerging here because of the rotation thing. Now we effectively have had three very different teams for three games. As a team, how can that promote consistency and team harmony? Surely these players are now beginning to feel like employees, like workmen shipped on and off an oil rig every few weeks. This is my main contention when science is over-done: it turns people into robots, because of the things that cannot be measured lose value, or are completely denied. And it is the things that cannot be measured that are the most important, and not just on the cricket field. Some of the puppet masters need to loosen the strings a bit here, before we completely ruin the Australian cricket team. The other thing is that as individuals players are losing match readiness. Let's see if Warner, Clarke and co can get moving today. If they can't we will be 2-1 down, thanks to rotation... um, I mean 'informed player management'.

Posted by Zoro_1 on (January 18, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

My SL team.

Kushal,dilshan,mahela,chandimal,thirimanne,mathews,Perera,kula,malinga,mendis,dhananjaya.

Drop Tharanga or lose again.

Posted by CricketBat_SL on (January 18, 2013, 1:00 GMT)

Honestly we should not underestimate any team.

Posted by onlyIndiathebest on (January 18, 2013, 0:25 GMT)

ajantha mendis is no longer an effective bowler his tricks are all but known and aussie pitches are all but useless

Posted by redneck on (January 18, 2013, 0:18 GMT)

would rather see coulter-nile tried ahead of henriques as other posts have said his form isnt too crash hot! in regards to australia wearing green at home, i believe its because the commonwealth bank logo is also yellow so it stands out better if aus are in green. vb still sponser the away tours so yellow is still fine to wear for those matches.

Posted by onlyIndiathebest on (January 17, 2013, 23:30 GMT)

SL are a good team but we all know the outcome if AUS wins the toss. SL should get extra 5 overs if they bat second.

Posted by KajuWaththaEksath on (January 17, 2013, 23:21 GMT)

BuHaaa..Haaaaa...Haaaaaaa....:D :D :D who cares whether it's Aussie A team or B team? Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews hold the highest run partnership for the 9th wicket in an ODI: 132 runs, against Australia in Melbourne in 2010. Malinga scored 56 Runs from 48 balls including six fours and two sixes; Mathews scored 77 runs off 84 deliveries including eight fours and one six and won the match. This is with Aussie A++ team . BuHaaa..Haaaaa...Haaaaaaa... :D :D :D

Posted by Tricksna on (January 17, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

what happened to Peter Forrest?

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 17, 2013, 22:34 GMT)

CANARY YELLOW! I totally agree with other posters. Australia should go back to wearing yellow- it's tradition, it's unique, and green looks terrible. It just doesn't feel the same anymore. There are enough green teams anyway. I don't buy this home and away kit rubbish... Give us our AUSTRALIAN GOLD back! Who made the change anyway? Disgraceful.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

@Posted by ShehanJ on (January 17 2013, 17:42 PM GMT) dude thats what called spirit.we all knew Australia is a good team and we don't have much faster bowling attack. but we believe in our team.we just didn't give up on possibilities or statics.cricket is unpredictable game.did you even imagine in the t20 worldcup 2012 south Africa just knockout from first rounds? can anyone believe it? but it happen.i t hink you also learn that believe in your team strength instead of statics or possibilities.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

Good Michael Clarke, David warner, Starc, Michel Johnsten Back. Srilanka A team. I dont think they stand a chance before them. Australia coming with full Strength. Go Australia. Make it 2-1. From an Indian cricket loving fan

Posted by ashguru123 on (January 17, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

my sri lankan A team is

Kushal,dil,mahela,chandimal,thirimanne,mathews,Perera,kula,herath,malinga,mendis

Posted by stormy16 on (January 17, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

It could be the best one day wicket for Aus to bat on which is also why SL will struggle against the pace and bounce on this wicket. The Gabba is Aus happy hunting ground and with the big guns back SL have a serious challnge on their hands. Its that sort of wicket where 130+ medium pacers can get taken apart and unless SL's spinners can get something out of the wicket they will struggle. I would imagine Tharanga is on his last chance if he plays at all and if Chandimal is fit they should drop Tharanga.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 17, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

The questions is, does Sri Lanka have their A Team on them? Last match, Sangakkara, Herath, and Chandimal did not play. That's saying quite a lot

Posted by ShehanJ on (January 17, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

It's so funny how SL fans roar like lions in the comments section, but then become dumb once their team is beaten. They start to roar again when their team wins a solitary match like cardboard lions. This same attitude is there with Indians and Pakistanis as well. It's just foolish to underestimate the Aussies who are back to full strength and playing in their own backyard.

Posted by cricket12namal on (January 17, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

every1 says drop upul tharanga,i dont say drop upul,,give a rest for upul tharanga..he is only 27..12 hundreds,6 double century partnerships..tharanga and dilshan 800 runs in 2011 world cup.the best opening pair in worldcup history..so srilanka cricket wants upul for next 10 years.bcs mahela.dilshan,sanga all r nearing their retirement...upul will come back strongly...

Posted by IanJF on (January 17, 2013, 16:49 GMT)

Another 24 hrs and all this 'B' Team talk will be in the gutter.. after SL thrashes AUS, Clarke & Co will be hoping they get a SL 'B' Team for the 4th ODI.. ha ha...

Posted by CricketFan2011WC on (January 17, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

I honestly feel Rangana Herath should be given an opportunity. He has significant potential to restrict run flowing by Aus batsmen, nothing but due to his variation and minful thinking in bowling. I feel Ajantha Mendis is very ineffective in Aus pitches, particularly at Gabba. Also, I honestly feel Upul Tharanga is only good for slow pitches where his very week foot movement cost him many opportunities. If Chandimal is fit, Kushal should be given a good run instead of Upul Tharanga. He seems promising in batting and even in wicket keeping.

Posted by Peterincanada on (January 17, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

@wellrounded87 I agree that Bird is a batting bunny but that is no reason to dismiss him as a 50 over player. He bats at number 11 and if you are in a position where you need runs from number 11, the game is more than likely already lost. By that logic McGrath would not be in your 50 over side. I personally wouldn't worry too much about the batting skills of 9, 10, or11. Surely the top 8 should be good enough to last 50 overs.

Posted by Selassie-I on (January 17, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

Australia have no hope here, the Sri Lankans will completley destroy them again. Aus cricket is in serious decline, they'll lose in India then lose twice to England.

Posted by jerryman on (January 17, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

hope mahela opens with dilshan .. drop tharanga and play both chandimal and silva , and I would play akila as the spinner .. always nice to have an x factor.. just put up a fight..

Posted by RuwanFer on (January 17, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

@sachin_vvsfan From the 1st few comments I noticed Sinhaya-2, Rise-of-Sinhaya or Sinhya (not Sinhaya who's the real Sri Lankan fan) are just few (maybe one with multiple accounts) Indian(s) trolling as SL fans lol. Why these people waste their time to do such things is beyond me.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 17, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

Chetan007 on (January 17 2013, 10:26 AM GMT) How do you come to your conslusion that India is a much better side than everyone (bar SA)? In the last 18 months they have been whitewashed by 2 of them away, lost to England at home and narrowly beat WI and NZ at home and look how they are performing against a genuine strong side now. You must be either a wind up merchant or delusional. Possibly you are talking about ODI's and if you look back results have not been that good in that format either recently.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 17, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

I can see lot of exchanges between fans including those who are impostering my name. I cant be bother wasting any of my time replying to them. All I hope is that tomorrow will be an exciting match. It is a good chance for us to beat Australia for the first ever time at the Gabba in an ODI. Last time in the 1st CB series finals, we came close but it was not enough. No doubt Clarke and Warner will be fresh and yearning. Hope we give our best tomorrow. Would be disgusting if Upul Tharanga plays tomorrow. Most likely cause of our defeat tomorrow should it be so will be mainly our carelessness rather than anything great by the Aussies.

Posted by DubaiGura on (January 17, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

I sincerely hope SL comprehensive win over Aussie-C team is not a flash in the Pan when they meet the A team in Gabba ! I'm sure SL had picked up that winning combination & the confidence to make the game 2-1 and take a lead at close ....I don't understand why the team management is persisting with flopped Tharanga once again or including his name in playing eleven - a joke ? Plse ..plse let Mahela or Lahiru upgrade themselves to open & make way to bright & brave Akila Dananjaya or another striker batsman like Kusal to bat in the Middle to boost up bowling/batting as the management see after checkin the pitch condition morning...I don't think bringing down Tharnaga will do any good with his confidence levels pretty down ....

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 17, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

"Australia's A-team back in action" - The 'A' standing for 'Amateurs'. lol. How long will Australia's selector choose players that cannot compete with anything other than the lowest ranked teams in the world? The infamous Slide continues.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (January 17, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

Yeah i agree 100% with PFEL Australia should wear the canary yellow in Limited Overs it's part of the history of Australian cricket the green looks crap and two many countries are in green granted different types but still green go YELLOW and on a bigger note Khawaja should be in this team they are going to stuff him if he keeps getting a 2 game stint 1 game stint and then gets dropped no wonder the lad is on edge leave him in for a series or two and he will be a super star.And Shawn Marsh wow he is in amazing form he must be pounding on the door for selection.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 17, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Is there a place for Jeewan on the Gabba pitch?he is a spinning allrounder used only for about two overs in Adelaide & I do not think he scored well in the BBL too & if all the guys are fit why not replace him with Tharanga batting lower down which he did last time around. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 17, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

LoL. So many sinhya handles (read trolls) to stir up things. I really wonder he is SL fan as his job seems to be stirring up things. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ranji-trophy-2012/content/current/story/601165.html

Posted by trav696 on (January 17, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

@Darkmanx12155, I think you are delirious... you talk like SL have never beaten India. You all think you are so good, its a joke, LMAOOOO. You may be leading in the win/loss ratio, but we have won the crucial matches in history when it really counted. By the way, England are leading 4-3 out of all the matches you have played this tour darkmanx... so where does your "See whats happening to England in the hands of mighty indians" come into play. Get your stats right. As I said before, stop commenting about India on AUS vs SL articles, because as far as Sri Lankan and Australian fans are concerned, we do not care about your fantasies in Indian cricket.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 17, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

Brydon did you emphasise it was a win over Sri Lanka B/C team that Aussies won in the Sydney test? Let's see at the end of the series who win it convincingly. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by PFEL on (January 17, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

bemUSed2, you are 100% correct. I am irate every summer when they bring out the dark green uniforms for One Dayers. It's a bloody disgrace. Australia should wear the canary yellow in Limited Overs, the green looks boring and bad.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 17, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

@ trav696 _ True mate india lost to u in the CB series... Hope u haven't forgotten that this "weak" side beating u when they scored 300 + in less than 38 overs..... & mate what do u mean by "India is getting wrecked against England in India"???? U must have been sleeping while india beat the hell out of england last match... and hey, true india lost the first game but they fought till the end unlike the SL team who lost the first game pathetically to aussies... Hahaha

Posted by bemUSed2 on (January 17, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

i am new to international cricket and don't support a particular team but have watched hundreds of hours of footage on the internet and thanks to cable have seen most cricket for the past year... some things are blatantly clear to me south africa is currently the best team in the world but are far from being the West Indies (1975-1995) or Australia (1989-2007), ODIs and T20s are meaningless money spinners, great batsmen are vital but great bowlers are what allow a team to have an era of dominance, and Australia play far better one day cricket in yellow! why they wear green is beyond me

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 17, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

@ cricshell - Well said mate... SL can beat india but thats only in SL fans DREAMS... See whats happening to England in the hands of mighty indians....

Posted by JChandi on (January 17, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

Hope SL also play their A team in this match.

Posted by PrasPunter on (January 17, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

@ Chetan007 , why just stop with Aus, Eng, SL , WI, Pak or NZ. There are more nations that have a name. Please include those and tell the world that india's is a better team than theirs. In the middle of our hectic schedules, always good to have a laugh. So go ahead !! Waiting for your next attempt !!

Posted by trav696 on (January 17, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

@Darkmanx1215, LOL. India is getting wrecked against England in India. Your selectors don't even know what they are doing with the Indian team and what are you on about when u say SL can't beat India. Haha, this is by far one of your worst sides on a tour with a weak bowling attack and 8 batsman who fail to fire with the bat half the time. SL are definitely capable of beating you. You are talking about your big win over us in the CB series, but you all packed your bags and and left for India when we beat Aus to get into the final. You also failed to make the World T20 World Cup final. Our conversion rate may not be that good, but at least we are basically good enough when it really counts mate. This is an article about SL vs Aus by the way mate, not India. Go comment on an article that is actually related to your team mate and don't get involved with our series. The tri series between Aus, SL and India finished over a year ago mate, so there isn't a need for you to comment.

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 17, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

@Harshani Pereira I don't think we will be able to restrict them to 220. This pitch is a batting paradise especially for the Australians. They scored 300 plus last year against us here. We ended up getting close to it as well. We can play here at the GABBA. Our last two scores I remember were about 290 plus.So with the four fielder restrictions we should be targeting to go at 8-10 runs per over after the 35th over. Which means we need wickets in hand and allow Mahela to come in at 5 so he can play in 20-20 mode together with others such as Thisara and Kushal. But thats the key. Batting cautiously and getting yourself in and then taking advantage of the field restrictions plus power play with WICKETS IN HAND.

Posted by MEHATELK on (January 17, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

Sinhya very recently india beat your team in yr own soil in oneday series 4/1 and won the one of T20 , In that T 20 wc india lost only one match , but SL lost two matches, in last CB series if take matches between SL and india , we won more matches, you only won one and you couldnt defend 320 runs in just 40 overs.

Posted by Karnain on (January 17, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

If Chandimal is fit he or Thirimanne should open with Dili and Kushal Perera should be in for Upul Tharanga & bat at 6 or 7. When Sanga is back, SL should open with Mahela & Dilshan. Need to replace Ajantha & insert Hearath or Akila. Hope Chandimal will be fully fit for tomorrow's game and no more chances for Upul Tharanga

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 17, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

@Chetan007, Absolutely true mate.....I am saying this for quite a long time to remove this coach who is more suited for countries like Eng/Aus/NZ/SA not that for Indian Cricket team.We have already seen the disaster created by Greg Chappel in the past and we can't afford to see the same thing happening again.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 17, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

@ Sinhya - WOW mate... u think SL tricked india by losing the WC final in 2011... hahahaha... thats soo hilarious mate... SL can never beat this indian side... every time they meet each other SL fail miserably due to the fact that great Kholhi hit Malinga to a bucket full of runs.... so thats a trick by the SLs???? Unbelievable.....

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (January 17, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

@Brendon_Edward you make some good points, I think ChrisMcintosh is correct in that Siddle was injured for the Perth test and Starc had ankle issues before the MCG test but you are spot on about Warner and Khawaja. Warner should have played the first 2 matches and Khawaja should have got more then 1 game to show what he can do. Regardless i think the yhave Khawaja listed as their test batsman for the Indian tour. Looking forward to tomorrow's game.

Posted by Master_Mihil on (January 17, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

This Australian team is pretty weak compared to past Aussie sides, not because they lack talent but the consistency. This team is like subcontinent team, who are well known for their inconsistency. One day win by 107 next day 8 wicket hiding that just doesn't happen to a world beating side. And what about this Warner, Wade hype? only thing worth mentioning is the return of Clarke, who is always consistent with his performance. With wade and Warner Aussies lost more than they won against SL in the last CB series.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 17, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

@ colombo_SL - Not @ all mate... Lets see whos gonna have the last laugh... hahaha

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (January 17, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

I think SL should open batting with Tissara and Dilly. It will be very interesting. If Tissara stays for 10 overs that is it.

Posted by Htc-Baseball on (January 17, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

@Chetan007: How can india be better than lanka? we made finals of CB series and also the finals of the most prestigious world tournament that was ever held, yes i am talking about the recently concluded world t20, we made the finals there too but india failed miserably

Posted by PPL11 on (January 17, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

@Sinhaya-2 - First of all thanks a lot for letting us know else we would have never knew that Srilanka Best side ever in Test, ODI and T20 can ever loose to team like india.... Thanks Srilanka for showing kind guesture by loosing in final and at home i hope you will do that in every cricket between india and SL, hoping for kindness again, thanks again

Posted by Chetan007 on (January 17, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

Many of you guys were comparing Indian team with Sri Lankan team. India is much better team than Australia, Srilanka, England, West Indies, Pakistan or New Zealand. The only thing they need is some motivation from Coach Duncan Fleture. They will again be on rise after removing the present Indian team coach. He was too old to be a coach of a national team. He only points out the weakness but doesn't tell about the strong area of a player.

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 17, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

@Sinhaya-2 - You dont need to prove anything to anyone, but you are opening a pandora's box, i hope SL did not trick Windies by losing home, they did not trick Aus by losing at home and deftly didnt trick India in 2011 WC and so on and so forth (it amounts to fixing mate). Look SL is a very good ODI outfit, they have a wonderful bowling line up that can challenge anyone on anyday, but like all good teams they too will have challenges when Dilshan, Sanga, Jaya and Mali hang thier boots..its circle of life. Just back your team and dont worry about what world thinks about them or India or Aus. Enjoy the game.

Posted by trav696 on (January 17, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Australian fans are talking SL down and saying that they will get thrashed. SL fans are saying this win will give SL the momentum to win the series 4-1. Both sides need to just chill out and see how this game at least pans out. It's true Aus' strongest team will be on the field tomorrow and for the rest of the series, but Aus fans, don't just underestimate SL cus we are just 3 points behind u in the rankings and our record in Aus recently has been really good; SL fans, u can talk after/if we win the series. Good luck anyway Sri Lanka.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 17, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

@Darkmanx12155; Nice equation with "ifs" & "buts". It shows that you have suffered a lot due to that defeat.

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 17, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

@ wellrounded87... Well said MATE... rightly said about A,B,C & D... SL cant even beat india let alone the mighty Aussies... If Aus won the toss last time, SL wud have not even scored a 100 as a team...

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 17, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

@lukecannon; Completely agree with you. Mahela can open with Dili. Tharanga should be given one & only chance down the order. Kusal can wait for a while. In addition to that replace Ajantha with Herath.

Posted by Solace1 on (January 17, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

Come on boys come on, lets show the world why we are a better team than india, lets show the world that we actually tricked india to make them believe they are better by losing to them at our home

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 17, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

@ShehanJ; You have taken wonderful effort to describe your desperation over Sri Lanka's win. Good effort to express your dissapointment!

Posted by durkheim on (January 17, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

I agree with comments about Mathews opening the bowling with Kulasekara, it worked well last game so why not change it. SL really need more depth in their pace attack however - if only they could borrow a few from Aus. Last I counted Aus have about 10 solid pacemen - Starc, Johnson, McKay, Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson, Bird, Cutting, Harris, Hastings,

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 17, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

Australia is No.4 & SL is No.5 in ODI rankings at the moment (Australia 113 points & SL 110 points). If Sri lanka can win tomorrow, they can be equal with Australians by having 111 points. Wish all the best Lions.

Posted by lukecannon on (January 17, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

Come on SL. SL A team(No sangakkara ) vs AUS A team (No watson). Game on. Mahela should open and Tharanga must be given another opportunity down the order. Kusal can wait.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 17, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

This game is a crucial one for both teams. I would like to see Herath over Ajantha in this match.

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 17, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

1. Dilshan 2. Thirimanne 3. Chandimal 4. Matthews 5. Mahela 6. Kushal 7. Perera 8.Jeevan Mendis 9. Kulasekera 10.Herath 11. Malinga. We need to take our time until the 25- 30th over. If we are 115-130 after 30 overs with Mahela still to come the Roar of the Lion will deafen the puny Kangaroos. But in all honesty this is the hardest task we will face. Win this match and 4-1 is inevitable plus the Number 1 ranking by winter.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (January 17, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

Is it wise for Henriques after being hit on the hand to be sitting around 'crossing his fingers'? The Australian injury management goes from bad to worse! Seriously i'd rather see Cutting on the Brisbane pitch. Also i know new players need time but surely Maxwell has to show something (anything!) now to justify his anointment by Inverarity as the great hope. Too many players like him and Steve Smith seem to have a charmed run based on some hunch that shows no sign of developing into performances and results on the pitch. I agree with the management of players and would rest ALL Test bowlers from this period of ODI's but there is a danger of spreading the net too wide and just going round in circles. Now that the Big Bash is nearly done surely its time to see Shaun Marsh at the top of the order in ODI's too.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

@ TrueLankan I dont agree with you, what i feel is we should bowl first and get what ever the fresh wicket provides, try best to keep them under 220, as we did in last game .Our guys cant manage fresh gabba wicket with bat and dont forget we are playing in gabba with out sanga not some where in subcontinent

Posted by mgsperera on (January 17, 2013, 8:23 GMT)

Lets not talk abt Tharanga.If Chandi is ready to play for Tomorrow's then Mahela should open the inning with Dilshan. Jeewan should bat at in between Chandi & Mathews to oparate with Rit/Lft combination.we should give a chance to Kushal to prove his capabilities as he can clear the lines. but thisara shud bat ahead of Kushal. Ajantha should come up with a strategy or else Herath might be a better option.Also Mathew shud open the bowling with Kula as this bowling pair is working for SL much better than other combinations. my 11 is 1 Dilshan 2 Mahela 3 Thri 4 Chandi 5 Jeewan 6 Mathew 7 Thisara 8 Kushal 9Kula 10 Malinga 11 Ajantha or Herath

Posted by ShehanJ on (January 17, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

It's funny to see the blind patriotism of the SL fans. Just after one win against an Aussie B team where SL had the luck of winning the toss and making use of the wet overcast conditions, they came good due also due to some good bowling by Kulasekara and Angelo up front. But one swallow does not make a summer. All this talk about the lions roaring with a 4-1 defeat of Aus is just talk. The roaring has to be done on the field and not in the comments section of ESPN cricket. Now that Clarke, Warner, Wade, Johnson and Starc are back, my guess is that the lions will end up purring like pussy cats at the end of the remaining 3 ODIs. :)

Posted by kevepere on (January 17, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

Why aint they giving chance to Jeevan mendis to bat bit higher like number 4.. he did well in the t20 format and then straightway back to number 7. How can he prove his batting capabilities. 1 . Dilshan 2 .Chandimal(wk) 3 Thirimanne 4. Jeewan 5. Mahela 6. Mathews 7. Thisara 8 . NuwanK 9 . A. Mendis 10. Akila Dananjaya 11. Malinga

Posted by Sugath on (January 17, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

A or super A you can bet it will be the same result just as in second ODI provided Malinga do not open bowling, bring in Akila for Jeevan and try Thisara to open with Angelo given their height and bounce in Brisbane pitch

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 17, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

The Mighty Lankans need to bat first and score minimum 250. If we play with a solid plan we can still outplay Australia. We need to play like the Indians did against England the other day and plan to score big in the last 15 overs with wickets in hand just like a 20-20. When looking at the fixtures I was always nervous about our boys playing in Brisbane. Go Lanka Go. Still won't accept anything other than a 4-1 and become Number 1 by the end of the Champions Trophy.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 17, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

@Brendon Edward. Ben Cutting is one of the best bowlers in the country look at his stats. He's also a very handy batsmen there was no reason to pick him. Pattinson was not fit enough he only bowled 8 overs and that wouldn't have been at full tilt. Bird is completely useless with the bat, in ODI's you need bowlers who are good for at least some runs in case the batting colapses like ours did last game.

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 17, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

It is a blessing that Moises Henriques is injured. Since basicly he should never have been in the squad in the first place.

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 17, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

If Australia are looking for seam bowling all rounder and henriques is injured, they can afford to give Hastings or christian a try. they both have performed decently with bat and ball in the chances they got. they were exactly not setting the stage on fire but certainly a very good tries in the middle overs. Christian was more handy in all the departments in the chances he got till now apart from some glitches which even the Watson's and Warner's and Wade's has. I would pick Christian as my first choice replacement for Watson even in longer format.

Posted by Jay32 on (January 17, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

First time openers Warner & Hughes will be the center of attraction as far as the 3rd ODI match goes! There is every chance Warner & Hughes could become the first choice openers in limited overs format. Tomorrow's match could well be the beginning of a long lasting partnership between Warner& Hughes. Lots at stake for sure!!

Posted by PFEL on (January 17, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

the injury count this summer is ridiculous. I'm sure there must be something new the trainers/physios are getting them to do, either as warm up, warm down or training that is hurting them more than helping.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 17, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

Big fan of Clarke and really glad to see him back, but I am starting to dislike the rotation policy, things have been changing for the worselately, not sure if it's because of this policy.We have created a rotation policy but we don't know how to use, now there's conflicting stories as to why Starc was rested, which means someone was fibbing, they look forward two years and pick pensioners while dropping M Hussey, now they get flogged by SL after resting Khawaja who likes those sort of conditions and should have played the second ODI game and play Richardson and Cutting when apparently Pattinson is bowling again and Bird is doing nothing at the moment. Can someone please tell me what's going on?? I know I'm being totally negative, but I'm really getting disillusioned with the whole show and I LOVE cricket, how is this good for the game?

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (January 17, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

@ Harshani Pereira on (January 17 2013, 06:09 AM GMT) Agree big time with u mate... SL will lose for sure tomorrow.. Coz the "A" team is back!... AND whats the bet? Tharanga will play tomorrow...

Posted by Hitwicket99 on (January 17, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Brisbane is generally a death bed for Sri Lankans. The wicket is fast and bouncy which means Mahela and Tharanga are already out. So we start with 0 for 2 wickets. However we can minimise the damage by dropping Tharanga and Ajantha Mendis and bringing back Karunarathne and Herath.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 17, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

Still no Watson, Pattinson, Cummins or Harris. Nope this is the B team, what we saw last game was the D team with the C team in game 1.

Does anyone know if Watson will be fit for the BBL final?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 17, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

I like the optimism of Sri Lankan fans but there main issue is not an opening batsman out of form but that they have only one bloke that can get the ball over 120k/hr. On flat tracks that arent wet Australia are really going to cash in and score big.

Posted by Solace1 on (January 17, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

This series is just a trailer, you will see the main picture in the upcoming high profile 2 match t20 series, aussies will run for cover

Posted by Jeyan_Sinthu on (January 17, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

Tharanga must be out. No point to give him another chance. Thirimanne or Chandimal should open with Dilshan. come on Lions. No matter its Australia 'A' team or 'B' team.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

If sl need to remove tharanga then chance should go to karunarathne beacouse one year back when i saw K.J.Perera he was extremely struggle against bounce .If he struggle even in subcontinent bounce how he gonna manage GABBA.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

All sl fans should not talk too much here before the game beacouse this wicket is the most difficult one that we going to play in this series (as i feel) . With out sanga it will more difficult.

Posted by durkheim on (January 17, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

What's with all the reports stating the Australian team is back to it's full strength with the only absentee being Watson? Have we already forgotten about Mike Hussey? Last I checked he's still available for selection. He's a much better player than Henriques and Maxwell put together. If the selectors are worried about another pace option, give Hughes the gloves and let Wade bowl! The way the selectors have been going this summer, they're probably contemplating it..

Posted by hycIass on (January 17, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

Hopefully Cutting comes in if Henriques is injuired as he would be a better replacement then Maxwell whose bowling won't stand up against the Sri Lankans. Hopefully Khawaja and Finch get another go in the later ODI games as they are the form Ryobi batsman this season and deserve another crack.

Posted by trav696 on (January 17, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

@Rise-of-Sinhaya, don't get too cocky just yet. I would love to see Sri Lanka win the series 4-1, but when Australia's top guns are back and with SL's consistency issues, u never know. If SL play like they did in the 2nd ODI, they will win, but they just have to play exactly like they did every time. Please also omit Tharanga out of the team and make Kaushal Perera or Dimuth Karunaratne open because when Tharanga is playing, we are basically 1 wicket down already when batting. Give one of them a chance without burdening the team. Hope Chandimal is also fit for the 3rd ODI and the rest of the series. SL just need play sensibly when batting and bowl consistent lines and lengths and put pressure on Aus. Good Luck Sri Lanka!!

Posted by Moppa on (January 17, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

@Htc-Android, I can see why you've gotten confused, given the use of the term "Australia A", "South Africa A" etc to label 2nd XI/development squad matches and tours. In this context, the author is just referring to suggestions that the previous squad was a "B-team", meaning a 2nd XI, and then the author has also made references to the 1980s TV show "The A Team". What he means is that Australia is more or less back to full strength, as you say.

Posted by RJHB on (January 17, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

SL fans, don't expect another fortuitous result, its dead dry up here in Queensland and it would be a major surprise if the pitch is not dry, bouncy and maybe fast, possibly slow though. Win toss, bat first, bat well, score 350 then crush the lions like little dainty flowers!

Posted by Tal_Botvinnik on (January 17, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

my XI K Janith,T Dilshan,L Thrimanne,D Chandimal,Mahela,Mathews,Thissara,Jeewan,Kula,Malinga,Dhananjaya Cutting is not a good "ODI" Seamer he is crafted for test cricket check ou his stats BBI:6/37,SR:43.8,Avg:24.77 in FC, but in list A BBI:4/68,Avg:34:S/R:39.6. all hype nothing else. We will test that Hamstring of clarke by making him run hard and prove warner's weakness against spin (mysteryL: dhananjaya).Haddin was better than wade. wade is nothing but a slogger while haddin played proper shots.

Posted by ajayrcs on (January 17, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

Sri Lanka will not bother about Australia's A or B team cause they are not Ponting's Old Australia team. These players are pretty average players certainly beatable. Except Warner who has similarity of Sehwag attitude. Doherty looks like Australian version of Johan Botha.

Posted by ajithabey on (January 17, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

keep the momentum going Sri Lanka.You can win the series if you keep playing to your potential.However,we need to replace the out of form tharanga probably with karunaratne and also get the highest wicket taker in 2012 herath to strenthen the bowling as the Gabba is reputed to be full of runs so that the aussie batting machine can be kept in check. Good luck Sri Lanka .

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 17, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

My team 1.Dilshan 2.Jeevan mendis 3.Thirmanne 4.Chandimal 5.Mahela 6.mathews 7.Kushal janith(wk) 8.Thissara perera 9.herath/Akila 10.kula 11.Malinga. We havent tested jeevan mendis batting ability. So its better if we promote him up and see what he does. I am sure he wont do worse than what tharanga did in the last 2 games. Kushal can be a very good finisher at No.7 , as he is a very good striker of the cricket ball. let thirimanne and chandimal continue at 3 and 4. Looks like they are doing well at that position. Mahela should bat at No.5 to add stability to the middle order and prevent any collapses.

Posted by Dashgar on (January 17, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

Cutting is a better player than Henriques anyway, hence the reason he was selected ahead of him for the previous game. Not sure if Henriques was meant to be more a batsman or bowler but he hasn't been in great for with the bat in BBL and his bowling is rarely used much. It is disappointing that players don't get to play any List A games at this time of year as you can only take so much from T20 form.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 17, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

Whats all with this Australia 'A' team 'B' team talk. We are facing a full strength australian side on tomorrow. Warner, clarke, wade all of them playing on tomorrow. Only watson is missing and hussey has already retired from international cricket. We are also sanga from our side.

Posted by landl47 on (January 17, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

This looks a pretty good Aus side for a hard, fast wicket. They shouldn't have the same problems that the moving ball caused for them in the last ODI. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, doesn't seem well suited to the conditions.

Anyone can win an ODI, but Aus must go in as favourites.

Posted by Return-of-Sinhaya on (January 17, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

No problem, the lions have started roaring, we will thrash the aussies like how we thrashed them in the last odi to win this series 4-1,

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 17, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

Moises Henriques does have ordinary stats but all the Indian cricket fans are excited about him, as he was so wonderful in the pressure cooker of the Champions League. By that evidence alone, he may well be a man for the big time. I'd give him a shot and see if that is right. Michael Clarke himself had poor stats not counting the international stage, and big game players can be just what the team needs.

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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.
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