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Aus eye comeback with Clarke, Warner


Cricketnext Staff, Cricketnext.com
Jan 17, 2013 at 07:05pm IST

Brisbane: With series currently tied at 1-1, Australia will be strengthened by the return of their stars following a well-deserved rest. After being given a wake-up call in the second ODI, where they were comprehensively beaten by Sri Lanka, Brisbane will be a good opportunity for Michael Clarke, David Warner and Mathew Wade to get Australia back to winning ways.

While Australia's win in the first ODI was clinical, their batsmen failed miserably in Adelaide against the Lankan pace attack. On that note, Australia will welcome their regular skipper Clarke and attacking opener Warner which will add solidarity at the top and in the middle. Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith and Kane Richardson have been dropped from the squad for the last two ODIs, while a hamstring injury has ruled out Brad Haddin. So clearly Finch, Khawaja and Haddin will make way for Warner, Clarke and Wade respectively.

Medium pacer Ben Cutting, who was originally not part of the squad for last two matches, may get a chance to play as Moises Henriques could be ruled out after being hit twice on his hand during practice. Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Clint McKay are likely to be the other three pacers in the squad, with Xavier Doherty as the lone spinner.

3rd ODI: Aus eye comeback with Clarke, Warner

With series tied at 1-1, the return of Clarke and Warner should strengthen Australia in the Brisbane ODI against SL.

In the Sri Lankan camp, opener Upal Tharanga has been in ordinary form of late and is likely to make way for Dimuth Karunaratne to partner Tillakaratne Dilshan. Also, Dinesh Chandimal could return to the eleven if he is declared fit. If that happens, Kushal Perera will be asked to warm the bench. Lahiru Thirimanne breathed life into the Sri Lanka spirits with his century in Adelaide and will once again strengthen the middle order along with skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Matthews.

Lankan pacers Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara and Mathews shared 8 wickets between them while restricting Australia to 170 in Adelaide. Jayawardene will expect a repeat performance from them and mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, who, despite being most expensive of the lot in Adelaide, should retain his place.

Playing XIs:

Australia: 1 Phillip Hughes, 2 David Warner, 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 George Bailey, 5 David Hussey, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Moises Henriques / Ben Cutting, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty.

Sri Lanka: 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Lahiru Thirimanne, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Dinesh Chandimal / Kushal Perera (wk), 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis.

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