Other than the opening T20I which was a very one-sided affair, Sri Lanka have heaped the pressure on Australia during this tour. They nearly stole a low-scoring clash in the second T20I, thrillingly won the third game off the bat of captain Dasun Shanaka, were only beaten by a Glenn Maxwell special at the start of the one-dayers and have now taken back-to-back ODIs against Australia for the first time in 20 years to stand on the cusp of a series victory.
However, with these matches not carrying any Super League points Australia do have one eye on the upcoming Test series, especially when it comes to their all-format fast bowlers. Barely a day has gone by on this tour without an injury being added to the list and there will have been some concern when Maxwell grabbed at his left leg after a piece of fielding.
Sri Lanka WWLWL (last five matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Niroshan Dickwella‘s return livened up proceedings in his first ODI for nearly a year. He was his usual talkative self behind the stumps – reading one play perfectly when he predicted Alex Carey would come down the pitch, then to see him send the ball straight for six – and though his innings did not develop from a promising position, the early flurry of boundaries played a part in making Sri Lanka believe they could succeed in a big chase. However, having played just two ODIs in the last three years he’ll want to make the most of every chance he gets.
Mendis has recovered from the cramps that forced him to retire and is available for the fourth match so there would not appear a need for Sri Lanka to change a winning team unless Danushka Gunathilaka passes a late fitness test. Hasaranga’s groin injury is expected to keep him sidelined.
Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Chamika Karunaratne, 8 Dunith Wellalage, 9 Jeffrey Vandersay, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Maheesh Theekshana
Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Alex Carey (wk), 6 Travis Head, 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Cameron Green/Mitchell Swepson, 9 Jhye Richardson, 10 Matt Kuhnemann, 11 Josh Hazlewood/Mitchell Starc
Pitch and conditions
The Colombo pitch did not live up to Aaron Finch’s pre-match thoughts of becoming trickier to bat on, instead skidding on nicely under lights with dew also playing a bit of a role. Both sides may, therefore, be keen to chase.