Australia v Sri Lanka
Friday 17 February 08.10
TV: live on BT Sports
With an unassailable 3-0 lead it would be a surprise if Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood weren't rested. Pat Cummins was left out of game three for example.
That means Jhye Richardson should get a game. Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams and Ashton Agar had come in. Adam Zampa and Moises Henriques should join him.
The Aussies experimented in Canberra with their batting order. Ashton Agar batted in the opening slot with Aaron Finch moving to No 3. Finch will not open again.
But surely Josh Inglis should be given the chance in his preferred role? How typical of this Australia think-tank to bat him at No 5. Steve Smith and Travis Head are unavailable.
Possible XI: McDermott, Agar, Maxwell, Inglis, Henriques, Stoinis, Wade, Sams, Richardson J, Richardson K, Zampa
Despite the scoreline, Sri Lanka have been competitive. But they are beginning to break down with Wanindu Hasaranga, Binura Fernando and Nuwan Thushara out. All three are likely to miss the rest of the series.
Hasranga is definitely done having tested positive for Covid. Fernando and Thushara have injuries.
Kusal Mendis did return for game two having recovered from Covid but his was a rusty performance. And there remains concerns about their batting. And probably bowling, too now they have lost Hasaranga and Binura.
Probable XI: Nissanka, Gunathilaka, Kusal, Avishka, Chandimal, Shanaka, Karunaratne, Vandersay, Chameera, Theekshana, Shiran.
The G produced big runs in the tail-end of the Big Bash. It was the venue where Glenn Maxwell went berserk, smashing 154 in a score of 273. The runs flowed after that group game, too. Strikers, hardly a strong batting line-up, managed 184 and 188.
In four of the last ten matches 170 or more was scored in the first-innings highlighting the improved nature of the surface. With Sri Lanka's bowling stocks stretched this might be the time to go over 170 or more for Australia on the exchange. Bet on the market here.
Limited trade chance
Australia are 1.182/11 and Sri Lanka 6.205/1. We suspect Sri Lanka are done in this series now and it is a stretch to consider even a back-to-lay.
The loss of Hasaranga cannot be underestimated and we have to see how a revamped bowling line-up manages again. They lacked the usual vim in Canberra.
And their batting has been significantly below par. An average unit would have managed a win by now thanks to their previously strong bowling and posting 121 for the loss of only six wickets in game two makes it hard to reckon there will be a change.
Agar is expected to continue in the opening berth. So we're left with no option to get with him at Sportsbook's 7/1. On ability and batting position Agar is probably an 11/2 chance.
Maxwell is 4/1 and 15/2 for man of the match if ground form is your thing. Finch, who has admitted he could bat as low as No 5, is no 11/4 chance folks.
For Sri Lanka we're surprised Dushmantha Chameera is as big as 7/2. He has a solid win rate and bowls at the death to pick up cheap wickets. Bet on the market here.
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