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Sri Lanka v Australia 3rd ODI, Dambulla – Preview

With the five-match series level at 1-1, the team that makes the best moves on Sunday might gain a significant advantage

Sri Lanka v Australia 3rd ODI, Dambulla – Preview
  - Cricket News
With the series tied 1-1, the winner of this clash will get a big advantage in the series.
The crucial third One-Day International between Sri Lanka and Australia at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, to take place on Sunday (August 28), might well become about two people: Tillakaratne Dilshan and David Warner.
 
Dilshan, 39, announced his limited-overs retirement earlier this week, prompting Sri Lanka Cricket to dedicate the Dambulla ODI to the former captain for his “invaluable contribution to his motherland”. It will be the Sri Lankan star’s final outing in the format, though this is a five-match series, meaning he will end his career with 330 ODI caps.
 
Sri Lanka will desperately hope to build on its victory in the second ODI in Colombo, and not just to provide Dilshan a fitting farewell. The series is currently tied 1-1. Australia held off the home side in the first ODI by three wickets to ease some pressure after the 3-0 whitewash in the Test series. However, Sri Lanka roared back in the second match at the same venue – R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo – coasting to an 82-run victory. Therefore, the winner of this clash will get a big advantage in the series.
 
Dilshan managed just 22 and 10 in the two matches so far, and will be hoping to bow out on a high. He needs 158 runs more to get past Brian Lara and become one of the top ten run-scorers in ODIs.


 
Australia will hope that a change in captaincy will induce change in other areas too. Steven Smith has returned home to rest ahead of the home series against South Africa, and Warner will stand in as captain for the remainder of the tour.
 
It will be the first time Warner takes the reins in international cricket, and the top-order blaster was excited on the eve of the match. “It’s a huge honour, I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that I would be standing here and walking out to captain my country,” he said. “I feel honoured and thrilled, and I’m really pumped to get out there and help the guys and lead from the front. Every time I walk on that field I give 100% and try and get the guys up and going, and that will be no different come this next game.”
 
Australia is expected to make a couple of changes, especially with Smith absent. Shaun Marsh, who was overlooked for the first two ODIs with the selectors backing the batsmen who had recently helped Australia to a tri-series win in the Caribbean against West Indies and South Africa, might return to the side. Usman Khawaja is also in the reckoning.
 
Smith’s is a huge hole to fill – he has been the highest ODI scorer in the last one year – but Darren Lehmann, the Australia coach, was confident of the team’s bench strength. “They (Marsh and Khawaja) are quality players and we expect them to play better than we did (on Wednesday night),” said Lehmann. “We went with the guys who did really well in the West Indies and won that series. It's now a case of him (Marsh) or Usman coming into the side to replace Steven and I'm sure one of them will do really well.”
 
The match has a lot riding on it. Australia will want to rain on Dilshan’s parade, but Sri Lanka will definitely have other ideas. 
 
Teams (from)
Sri Lanka:
Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lahiru Kumara, Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan and Amila Aponso.

Australia: David Warner (capt), George Bailey, 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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