Sri Lanka need big guns to fire against Aussies
Perth: Sri Lanka`s top order batsmen will have to deliver when they go into their second tri-series cricket match against formidable Australia on Friday, hoping to revive their fortunes after a series of indifferent shows of late.
Except for youngster Dinesh Chandimal, no other Lankan batsman could make a substantial contribution against India in the last match and the visitors will be determined to put up a better show.
Sri Lanka would need Tillakaratne Dilshan to fire at the top while Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene would be key in the middle-order.
If the middle-order is among runs, the job of Angelo Matthews down the order becomes easy. Matthews has been in ominous touch and the island nation need the all-rounder to continue with his splendid show.
However, it remains to be seen how the Lanka batsman tackle the Australian paceman, who have troubled the experienced Indian line-up right through the tour.
Australia have lost Brett Lee to injury but youngster Mitchell Starc and Clint McKay did extremely well. They would relish bowling on the bouncy WACA track.
The way the Lankans struggled against off-spinner R Ashwin, role of Xavier Doherty would also be crucial for Australia.
The hosts are also likely to hand the debutant`s cap to youngster Peter Forrest in place of either David Warner of David Hussey.
But David has been in good touch since the Twenty20s against India and would not like to sit out. The selectors had hinted that seniors Ricky Ponting or Michael Hussey may also be rested as per the rotation policy.
It will be interesting to see who Forrest replaces in Friday's contest.
Sri Lanka also need to improve their fielding. They sometimes were scrappy, especially near the boundary ropes, against India.
Slinging fast bowler Lasith Malinga can swing the tide in his side's favour with his teasing, toe crushing balls but would need support of the other bowlers as well who need to bowl with discipline.
It's a long series with each playing eight matches but losing two consecutive matches would not help the cause of the World Cup runners-up.
Skipper Jayawardene has already spiced up the contest by terming the host fast bowlers "a weak attack". And the Australians would want to give a fitting reply to the challenge.
Australia: Michael Clarke (C), Daniel Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Clint McKay, Mitchell Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade and David Warner.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (C), Angelo Matthews, Kumar Sangakkara, Tilllakaratne Dilshan Fervez Mehroof, Lasith Malinga, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Sachitra Senanayke, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Chanaka Welegedara, Dhamika Prasad, Thilan Samraweera, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara.
Match starts at 9.50 am (IST).