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Sri Lanka v Australia I ODI, Colombo - Preview

Mitchell Marsh sent home to recharge before South Africa series; Pradeep, Lakmal back in contention for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka v Australia I ODI, Colombo - Preview - Cricket News
Days after losing the top spot in the ICC Test rankings, Australia will be determined to get back to winning ways against an upbeat Sri Lanka side.
Australia will be keen to restore some pride when it takes on Sri Lanka in the first of the five-match One-Day International series on Sunday (August 21), hoping that some fresh blood can help reverse a string of defeats during the Test series.

Days after losing the top spot in the ICC Test rankings, Australia will be determined to get back to winning ways against an upbeat Sri Lanka side. 

Angelo Mathews's side completed a 3-0 series whitewash over Australia on Wednesday when it won the final Test in Colombo by 163 runs, a result which led to Australia being toppled by India at the top of the ICC Test rankings. 

Steve Smith, the Australia captain, admitted his side had been outplayed after failing to come to terms with the turning wickets in Sri Lanka. While Smith remains at the helm of the ODI side, the squad will be bolstered by ODI specialists such as Aaron Finch and James Faulkner, along with Adam Zampa, the young legspinner. 

Mitchell Marsh, who was earlier named in the ODI squad, was sent home after the Test series with an eye on the packed Australia summer schedule, and Moises Henriques is expected to replace the allrounder. Darren Lehmann, the Australia coach, said the decision to release Marsh was so he could recharge his batteries before next month's tour to South Africa. 

Lehmann explained that his side was building towards the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England, but he also acknowledged the need to produce some immediate results to lift the morale.

Faulkner is expected to bolster the batting line-up which struggled in the Test series, particularly against Rangana Herath who has retired from ODIs. 

Australia's spinners failed to carry the same threat in the Test series, with Mitchell Starc doing most of the damage. Although, Jon Holland, the left-arm spinner, has returned home, Nathan Lyon is staying on and could well be joined in the starting XI by Zampa. 

Sri Lanka, however, will be looking to take its new-found confidence into the limited-overs series, with Mathews insisting that there would be no room for complacency after the Test series whitewash. 

Tillakaratne Dilshan, who missed the tour of England due to personal reasons, returns to the side, as do allrounders Milinda Siriwardana and Thisara Perera. 

Sri Lanka has also selected the uncapped duo of Avishka Fernando and Amila Aponso. While Fernando, a top-order batsman, has been in good form for the Sri Lanka Under-19 team in England, hitting back to back hundreds to help the team to a 3-0 whitewash, Aponso, a left-arm spinner, impressed with the Sri Lanka Development Emerging Team in South Africa.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka, who lost its four top fast bowlers to injuries on a recent tour of England, now have Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal, who played the final Test in Colombo, back in contention.

Sunday's match is the first of two games in Colombo before the contest continues with two matches in Dambulla and wraps up in Pallekele on September 4. 


Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan and Amila Aponso.

Australia: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), Adam Zampa.

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