Crucial match Australia and Sri Lanka's World Cup dreams hinge on this pivotal showdown.

Pat Cummins’ squad faces struggles on all fronts, while their rivals have been leaking runs at an alarming rate. Additionally, they’ve lost Dasun Shanaka to injury. In a tournament featuring nine group-stage matches, where there’s room for a couple of slip-ups, starting at 0-3 isn’t ideal. Yet, one of Australia or Sri Lanka will find themselves in this predicament after their showdown in Lucknow. This match is crucial for maintaining their semi-final aspirations. Both teams have had a challenging start, but securing two points in this fixture could reignite their hopes of a top-four finish.

Australia, with their strong World Cup history, is making headlines for its struggles. They faced a tough opening, going up against hosts India and a confident South Africa, and they’ve underperformed in all facets of the game. Sri Lanka has managed to put up substantial scores, crossing the 300-run mark against both South Africa and Pakistan. However, their issue has been conceding runs at a higher rate, with 7.86 runs per over across two matches. Even Kusal Mendis’ impressive century against Pakistan couldn’t offset this.

Adding to Sri Lanka’s woes, they’ve lost their captain, Dasun Shanaka, to a tournament-ending injury, with Mendis taking over as captain. Nevertheless, their spinners may see an opportunity to impact the game against Australia’s struggling batting lineup.

Australia made two changes after just one match, dropping Cameron Green and Alex Carey. They are still operating with a 14-player squad, with Travis Head yet to rejoin the group, and Sean Abbott yet to feature. The batting remains a concern, as no player has reached a half-century, and their average of 18.80 is the lowest among all teams in the tournament.

In their recent ODIs, Sri Lanka won 3-2 in a five-match series against Australia in mid-2022.

Form Guide (Last five matches, most recent first): Australia: LLWLL Sri Lanka: LLLWL

Key Players to Watch: Adam Zampa and Kusal Mendis

Australia took a gamble by not replacing Ashton Agar with a similar player in their final squad. Adam Zampa’s form has suffered, with an economy rate of 7.41 and only seven wickets in six games since his 4 for 48 in Bloemfontein. Zampa has been dealing with injuries leading up to the tournament, and his loss of form is concerning. Captain Aaron Finch mentioned Zampa’s ongoing hip problem, which is affecting his performance.

On the other hand, Kusal Mendis is in outstanding form, scoring 356 runs in his last three innings, including a career-best 122 against Pakistan. However, the question remains whether he can maintain this form while shouldering the added responsibility of captaincy and wicketkeeping.

Team News: Australia likely unchanged, Sri Lanka needing reinforcements

Australia is expected to field an unchanged lineup, with Josh Inglis as the wicketkeeper. Their pace trio needs to step up and make early breakthroughs. Marcus Stoinis’ back-to-back match concerns should not be a factor, as he bowled only two overs against South Africa.

Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Josh Inglis (wk), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Marcus Stoinis, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood

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Sri Lanka has lost captain Dasun Shanaka to injury and will be replaced by Chamika Karunaratne, who is a seam bowler and lower-order batsman. They may also be without slingy fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana, who is under observation due to a right shoulder issue, according to the team manager.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kusal Mendis (capt, wk), 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Dunith Wellalage, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Dilshan Madushanka

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Pitch and Conditions

The Ekana Stadium pitch has proven challenging as the match progresses. It offered assistance to quick bowlers in the second half of Australia’s match against South Africa. The decision at the toss could be influenced by the pitch’s behavior. Lucknow is expected to have another hot day.

Stats and Trivia

  • Sri Lanka has not beaten Australia in an ODI World Cup since 1996 when they claimed the title.
  • Dhananjaya de Silva has dismissed David Warner four times in ODIs, more than any other batter.
  • Australia has caught only eight out of 14 chances in the first two matches, giving them the lowest catch percentage among all teams in the tournament.


A lot of Australian teams, when they’re backed into a corner, play their best cricket. We find ourselves in a corner early on in this tournament, but we’ve got to come out and put in a really good performance against Sri Lanka.


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