Tour review

Australia v Sri Lanka, 2016-17

Daniel Brettig

Twenty20 internationals (3): Australia 1, Sri Lanka 2
This series provided one of the starkest examples of international cricket's madness: the concluding game at Adelaide ended just 15 hours before an entirely separate Australian squad embarked on a Test match against India at Pune. Cricket Australia's chief executive, James Sutherland, defended the scheduling and the enforced absence of many senior players, insisting the Twenty20s offered opportunities to the likes of Michael Klinger - making his international debut at the age of 36 - and wicketkeeper Tim Paine, nearly six years after he last appeared for Australia. But there was an evident lack of cohesion, despite the efforts of the high-profile interim coaching trio of Justin Langer, Jason Gillespie and Ricky Ponting.

Sri Lanka themselves made a raft of changes from the side that had defeated South Africa in the same format a month earlier, but still appeared the more settled, and wrapped things up in the first two matches. Upul Tharanga captained adroitly, even if he barely scored a run, while the return of Lasith Malinga lent skill and leadership to the attack. A sense of calm and game awareness permeated through the Sri Lankans, exemplified by the Man of the Series, Asela Gunaratne, during his two match-winning innings; even with 48 runs to collect from the final three overs at Geelong, there was no panic. The contrast with the Australian batting line-up, which habitually started well before subsiding, was obvious.

Match reports for

Tour Match: Prime Minister's XI v Sri Lanka at Canberra, Feb 15, 2017
Scorecard

1st T20I: Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne, Feb 17, 2017
Report | Scorecard

2nd T20I: Australia v Sri Lanka at Geelong, Feb 19, 2017
Report | Scorecard

3rd T20I: Australia v Sri Lanka at Adelaide, Feb 22, 2017
Report | Scorecard

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