Australia will look to continue their recent dominant form when they take on the troubled Sri Lankans at Perth. The former 4 time World Champions already have an impressive win in their bag, trumping the Indians in the series opener and they look overwhelming favourites to consign the Lankans to another defeat.
Australia go into the game with their confidence sky high and with their form at its peak. The hosts had a good outing in the first game against India but still will have a few wrongs to be ironed out especially in the batting department. Their bowling is filled with variety and they will lose no sleep regarding their bowlers.
Australia only worry will be how their top order capitulated against India. David Warner, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke(Australia’s most consistent batsmen in the Test series) fell cheaply and Australia will hope that all three failing in a single match was a mere coincidence. The Australians had Matthew Wade and the Hussey brothers to thank for bailing their team out of trouble. Wade has been superb at the top of the order and will be key if Australia decide to rest Warner and welcome debutant Peter Forrest, Daniel Christian also could be rested but that would mean Forrest would come much lower down the order.
Their bowling though will not have much to worry about as they came up with a top drawer performance in the 1st ODI. Another similar performance would put them in a fantastic position to get 2 wins under their belt and their bowlers will be raring to have a go at the Lankans.
Sri Lanka were left to rue their decision to not include a specialist spinner against India and the Islanders will want to ensure they do not repeat the same mistake again. Sri Lanka will have the advantage of having played at the ground only 2 days ago but they will know they have to improve a lot if they are to challenge the rampaging Australian team.
The Sri Lankan batting line up fared much better than what we have come to expect over the past few months with most of their top batsmen getting off to good starts. But they will be bitterly disappointed with how they threw it away after working hard to get their eye in. Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene all perished after making good starts and they will be doubly determined to set it right this time. Dinesh Chandimal has been a real star in the recent past and he continued his good form against India, another good performance against the hosts will go a long way in cementing his place in the ODI squad.
On the bowling front, Sri Lanka will look to include Rangana Herath in place of one of the seamers or even in place of a batsman(most likely Lahiru Thirimanne). The amount of purchase the Indians managed to extract will be an encouraging sign for the Islanders and they will look to use that to their advantage. Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka’s trump card, looked out of sorts against India and will be keen to set the record straight in this game.
Australia will be keen to extend their dominance and the will expect nothing less than a handsome win, while Sri Lanka will want to do everything in their power to ensure they don’t suffer a second straight defeat in the tournament and leave themselves with too much to do.