It is time to start the home season in Australia. First up is the T20I series against Sri Lanka. The first of the three matches will be played at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday. All the attention will be on David Warner and Steve Smith making their ‘home coming’ after the ban.
Both teams will have one eye on the T20 World Cup next year as they look to get their combinations right. Australia haven’t played T20s since February. However, most of the players are involved in the Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup. Sri Lanka are fresh from a 3-0 series win in Pakistan.
Captain Aaron Finch is battling a side strain, but should be fit to play this match. Andrew Tye has been ruled out of the series, while no replacement is named yet. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc appear sure starters, and Kane Richardson could also get the nod.
All eyes will be on Smith and how he can fit into the T20 scheme of things. For your fantasy picks, keep a close eye on all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey. Both offer good value and can contribute immensely.
Sri Lanka Preview
The Islanders are fresh from whitewashing Pakistan, albeit with a second-string side. Captain Lasith Malinga is among a handful of seniors returning to the side. The standout players from that series – Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Oshada Fernando are retained.
That gives good options for your fantasy picks. Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Malinga, Fernando and Rajapaksa – all are names that can make it to your side. Keep an eye on Lakshan Sandakan, as Australians have always struggled against wrist spinners.
Fantasy Players to Watch
David Warner made his name on the international circuit with this format. After a poor Ashes, the opener will look to get back among the runs.
Lasith Malinga brings a lot of experience to the Sri Lankan side. He has 34 wickets in his last 17 T20Is, with 13 hauls of at least two wickets. Not to forget four wickets in four balls in his previous match.
Niroshan Dickwella adds a lot of weight to the Sri Lankan side. His runs go with the safe ‘keeping skills that he brings. A good pick for your side.
Australia: 1 Aaron Finch (C) 2 David Warner 3 Steve Smith 4 Ben McDermott 5 Glenn Maxwell 6 Ashton Agar 7 Alex Carey (WK) 8 Pat Cummins 9 Mitchell Starc 10 Kane Richardson 11 Adam Zampa
Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Mendis 2 Dhanushka Gunathilaka 3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa 4 Oshada Fernando 5 Niroshan Dickwella (WK) 6 Dasun Shanaka 7 Wanindu Hasaranga 8 Lakshan Sandakan 9 Lasith Malinga (C) 10 Kasun Rajitha 11 Nuwan Pradeep
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