Host Sri Lanka will face Australia in the three-match T20I series, starting from Tuesday in Colombo.
Both teams have faced off 22 times in the history of the 20-over format where Kangaroos have a slightly better record with 13 wins compared to nine of the Islanders.
Sri Lanka will enter the contest on Tuesday as underdog, largely because of their poor recent record in the 20-over format where they suffered four defeats in the last five outings.
The management would be hoping that the players will produce a much better display in the upcoming series and secure a rare win against the reigning world champions.
On paper, Sri Lanka’s strength is their bowling department who will have the responsibility of keeping Australia under a manageable total.
Star leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva will be the most potent threat for the visitors, especially on pitches where there will be assist for the spinners.
The 24-year-old is currently sixth in the ICC T20I rankings for bowlers which shows his pedigree in the world of cricket.
His record while playing in Sri Lanka is even more impressive where he has 15 wickets in just 11 matches, that too at an outstanding economy-rate of just 6.50 runs per over.
In terms of the batting department, the focus will be on top-order batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa, wicketkeeper-batter Kusal Mendis, batting all-rounder Charith Asalanka and captain Dasun Shanaka to help the Islanders in posting a decent total on the board.
Australia will enter the contest on Tuesday as favourites, largely because it is more or less the same squad who lifted the ICC T20 World Cup trophy a few months back in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The management would be hoping that the players will be able to continue producing similar kind of performances in the matches to come.
On paper, there is not a single area of weakness for the Kangaroos but they look like a team who will be more of a powerhouse in the batting department, especially in the presence of senior pros like Captain Aaron Finch, veteran opener David Warner, experienced Steve Smith, explosive all-rounders Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and wicket keeper-batter Mathew Wade.
In the batting department, the onus will be on the likes of Aaron Finch, David Warner, Marcus Stoinis, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Glen Maxwell to deliver the bulk of the runs.
Since 5th June 2020, Mitchell Marsh has shown excellent form for Australia in the T20 format. In 22 T20Is played, Marsh has accumulated 666 runs at an average of 39.17 with six half-centuries to his name.
Besides Marsh, David Warner has done well and scored 347 runs at an average of 43.37 with four fifties to his name.
The bowling doesn’t look too bad either despite the absence of star duo Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa as the visitors will still have the services of Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar.
The first two matches of the T20I series will be played at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on 7th and 8th June. The third and final game of the series will be played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on 11th June.