Lankans confident, but Aussies will be tough
Another exciting clash is on the cards in the ICC World Cup Twenty20
when Sri Lanka meet Australia in a Group C match today at Trent Bridge
Before the Sri Lanka-Australia game, Bangladesh will play Ireland at
13.30 BST which is (6 p.m.Sl time). The Sri Lanka-Australia game will be
at 17.30 BST - which (7 p.m.SL time).
Group C is probably the most tough group which finds Sri Lanka,
Australia and West Indies and a team needs at least one win to move to
the super eight. It is not easy to predict as all teams are evenly
However it will be the teams playing the correct cricket, keeping
their nerve and taking advantage and capitalising on the opportunities
who will move on. My money is on Sri Lanka and Australia to go ahead.
But at the same time I am not discounting the upsetting abilities of the
men from the Caribbean.
England were tipped to roll over the Dutchmen in the opening game,
but got the shock of their lives when the Dutchmen won on the final
ball. From here onwards no team is going to be complacent, because in a
game like the Twenty20 miracles are possible.
The Sri Lankans had mixed fortunes in the warm-up games beating
Bangladesh in a close game and then capitulating to the South Africans.
But warm-ups are no big deal and how one performs in the real thing
is what matters.
At the time of writing the Lankans havenít named their playing
eleven.Ditto with Australia.
An opening win is essential and the Lankans would not want to
experiment but have their best shooters out to target the kangaroos.
Like captain Kumar Sangakkara said the Lankans have beaten these
teams in other forms of the game and there is no reason why it should
not be similar this time round.
A lot will depend on openers Tillekeratne Dilshan and Sanath
Jayasuriya to find form and show the way with a start that should
paralyse the Aussies. This is the start that they need and would be
hoping that it would materialise.
It is then for batsmen with the flair for this style of game Kumar
Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardena, Indika de Saram, Jehan Mubarak who would
be playing in the absence of Chamara Kapugedera and Faveez Maharoof to
A close analysis would show that the batting is weak.
The Lankans, knowing the Aussie batsmen weakness against spin will go
in with an all spin attack of Muttiah Muralidaran, Ajantha Mendis,
Dilshan and Jayasuriya. They could go in wth one paceman in Lasith
Malinga with Maharoof for support. It will thus be seen that the team is
strong in bowing.
Malinga will be the bowler the Aussie bsatsmen will fear most. If he
can find line and length, then with his toe and ankle crushing yorkers,
and a well disguised bouncer could have the Aussie batsmen ducking and
jumping for dear life.
It will also be interesting to watch how Sangakkara will go in his
first outing as skipper.
He has the experience and a shrewd cricketing brain and as his
captaincy begins to grow and progress, he has what it takes to join the
illustrious captains that the country has produced.
Australia have a devastating batsmen and explosive fast men. David
Warner and Michael Clarke or Shane Watson should strike first for the
kangaroos with skipper Ricky Ponting, the Hussey brothers Michael and
David, Brad Haddin and James Hopes to add muscle to the total.
Magic Johnson and the now fully recovered Brett Ďlethalí Lee with
their dangerous pace and swing and the economical Nathan Bracken will
target the Lankan batsmen, with Shane Watson, and another paceman or a
spinner depending on how the Aussie selectors will go.
They will certainly miss the destructive alround ability of the
temperamental allrounder Andrew Symonds. A drinking charge had been
slapped on him and he has been sent home and could mean the end of the
road for this alrounder who was more than a treat when he was
The Trent Bridge wicket has the knack of being spin friendly with
pace and bounce and with both teams being aware of this a blockbuster of
a game is expected which should have supporters of both teams yelling
their throats out
Not wanting to be accused of being unpatriotic, I would not want to
hazard a guess on the outcome, but I would be delighted for a Lankan
Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Sunday