Australia vs Sri Lanka ICC World Cup 2019 warm up game will be broadcast on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD. Live streaming will be available on Hotstar.
Preview: Having got the better of World Cup favourites England in their first warm-up encounter, Australia will be confident of keeping that winning momentum going against a deflated Sri Lankan side in Southampton on May 27 (Monday).
There is something about Australia and the World Cup. After struggling for a year or two in the 50-over format, the five-time champions seem to have found their mojo once again. Australia defeated India and Pakistan and were on an eight-match winning streak coming into this tournament. If that wasn't enough, the return of Steve Smith and David Warner have only strengthened the Aaron Finch-led side.
Smith announced his arrival with a free-flowing 116 against England and looked at his very best. Apart from him, Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey were also amongst runs.
The team management however will be more happy about the fact that Australia defended 297 against an intimidating England batting lineup without their premier pacemen Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who will lead the attack in the tournament proper. Australia's ploy of playing both Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa worked nicely as the two spinners tied down English batsmen in the middle overs.
Meanwhile, things aren't quite looking bright for Sri Lanka. The Islanders were thrashed in their opening warm-up tie as their bowlers looked completely out of rhythm. Isuru Udana did have a good outing with ball in hand but surprisingly didn't get a chance to bat.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews scored fifties and Sri Lanka will hope two of their senior batsmen shoulder most of the responsibilities.
While Australia have been playing some quality cricket of late, Sri Lanka need to find a way to get back to winning ways. They were swept aside by South Africa in the five-match ODI series, but did manage a win against Scotland before coming to England.
Issues to Fine Tune
Both Marsh and Khawaja have been in great form in ODIs but Australia will have to take a call on who they want to go with. With Warner, Finch and Smith at the top order and Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Carey down the order, Australia can play only one of those two.
Maxwell, who didn't feature in the first warm-up game, might want to get some game time.
Lasith Malinga will have to lead and guide the bowling attack. The likes of Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep and Jeffrey Vandersay will also have to up their game. In the batting department, Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera too need to get back to scoring ways.
While it was Smith who scored a fine century against England, Warner too has been in superb form. The left-hander was the top scorer in this year's IPL and had a decent hit against England, scoring 43. Warner looks hungry and that's a downright warning to other teams.
The 31-year-old can be Sri Lanka's much-required game changer. Apart from his effective left-arm medium, Udana has been in a terrific hitting form of late. He was outstanding in South Africa and can provide that firepower at the end along with Thisara Perera.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva.