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Cricket World Cup: Australia v Sri Lanka preview

Australia are quite simply in desperate need of a victory when they face Sri Lanka on Monday in Lucknow in their third match of the ongoing World Cup in India.

The Baggy Greens have been well beaten by both the tournament hosts and then South Africa in their opening two matches and cannot afford to complete an unwanted hat-trick against the Islanders.

Sri Lanka have themselves lost their opening two fixtures, to the Proteas and Pakistan, so they are also in the position of having to win if they want to retain serious hope of qualifying for the semi-finals.

Australia, meanwhile, are 2.05 to make the knockout stages of the competition and 1.28 to get back on track with a victory on Monday.

WhatAustralia v Sri Lanka
WhereEkana Sports City, Lucknow
When18:30 (AEST) Monday 16th October 2023
How to watchFoxtel, Kayo & 9Now
OddsAustralia 1.28, Sri Lanka 3.75

Problems aplenty for Cummins and co

Australia have issues with bat, ball and in the field to resolve ahead of the game on Monday, with their batting line-up failing to fire so far, while their bowlers have been unable to keep the pressure up on their opponents.

The Baggy Greens have been bowled out for 199 and 177 in their opening two matches, scores which will not get the job done in the conditions, with the continued absence of the injured Travis Head proving to be a huge miss.

Indeed, no Aussie bater has managed to register even a half-century in the opening two matches of the tournament.

With the ball the seamers performed well enough in the six-wicket loss to India, but were put to the sword against South Africa, while key leg-spinner Adam Zampa has a taken a combined 1-123 across those opening two contests.

Zampa is 4.33 to respond by being Team - Top Bowler against Sri Lanka, with Cummins priced at 4.50 in the same market.

Dropped chances have also contributed to the scale of the losses, so Cummins will be looking for big improvements in all areas in Lucknow on Monday.

Lankans suffering with the ball

Sri Lanka have conceded 773 runs across their opening two losses, with the absence of star leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga due to injury proving to be a massive blow.

Left-arm seamer Dilshan Madushanka is the only Lankan bowler to impress, having taken wickets with the new ball against both Pakistan and South Africa and he is a very tempting 4.75 to be Team - Top Bowler against the Aussies.

Sri Lanka will have to make one enforced alteration as Matheesha Pathirana has been ruled out by a shoulder injury, with Kasun Rajitha and Lahiru Kumara the leading options as replacements.

With the bat the Islanders have passed 300 with ease in both of their matches, with Kusal Mendis the undoubted star of the show.

The 28-year-old right-hander has made 198 runs in his two innings to date, having faced a total of a mere 114 balls, while he has cleared the ropes no fewer than 14 times to be the runaway leading six-hitter in the tournament to date.

With that in mind he is 7.00 to be the player to Score Most Match 6s on Monday, while Sri Lanka are 2.62 to be the team to hit Most Match Sixes.

Previous meetings

These two sides have met on 102 occasions on ODI cricket over the years, with Australia registering 63, Sri Lanka 35 and four contests ending with No Result.

Their most recent meetings came in Sri Lanka in June 2022, when the hosts took the series honours 3-2, with Mendis the leading runscorer in that series with a total 249 at an average of 83.00.

Left-arm spinner Dunith Weelalge led the way with nine wickets in the series, but he, like Zampa, has found life tough so far at the World Cup, snaring just one wicket at an average of 143 to date.

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