Australia have arguably named a full-strength playing XI for their first T20I against Sri Lanka to be played in Colombo on Tuesday.
There was a lot of debate about whether captain Aaron Finch and Steve Smith should be a part of Australia’s XI with a home T20 World Cup around the corner. The duo haven’t enjoyed the best of form in this format in recent months.
However, the selectors have backed their experienced pros to come good in the series against the Islanders. Tropical rain in Sri Lanka may help the pitch get more moisture and thus, offer more help for the fast bowlers.
The visitors have deployed their trusted combination of a three-pronged pace attack with a lone spinner in Ashton Agar. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are back in the XI after missing out on the home T20Is against the same opposition. Kane Richardson got the nod as the third seamer with Pat Cummins rested.
Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade will once again form the crucial middle order that won the T20 World Cup last year. However, they will still hope that the top three of David Warner, Finch and Mitchell Marsh can provide them with a rolicking start.
Australia’s Playing XI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood.
Sri Lanka and Australia’s squad for the T20I series
Sri Lanka T20I squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Nuwanidu Fernando, Lahiru Madushanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lakshan Sandakan. Standby: Jeffrey Vandersay, Niroshan Dickwella.
Australia T20I squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Matthew Wade.