Ben McDermott will open in place of the rested David Warner while Australia will need to be wary of Wanindu Hasaranga
Australia take the field for the first time as the men’s T20 World Cup champions…and only have nine months until they need to fight to keep it. Such is the cricket calendar in the era of playing Covid catch-up that this is the beginning of the next build-up.
However, if things go to plan it should not be the most taxing of preparations for Australia (we’ll leave aside for a moment the recent loss of a head coach). It will be in home conditions and there is unlikely to be much turnover in personnel from the side that won in the UAE.
In the spotlight
Aaron Finch confirmed his XI on Thursday. The big three quicks play together for the first time since the Brisbane Test.
Australia 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Ben McDermott, 3 Josh Inglis, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Charith Asalanka, 4 Avishka Fernando, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Binura Fernando, 11 Maheesh Theekshana
Pitch and conditions
The SCG generally produces very good pitches for T20 cricket. The bigger problem may be the weather with a high chance of showers during the day and some thunderstorms.
“The first series after the World Cup win…so it’s really exciting to have a lot of new guys around the side as well and I guess quite a bit of pressure on after winning the World Cup. It does raise expectation. But we feel as though we’ve played some really good T20 cricket recently, so we’re excited about that.”
“It’s always tough playing in these conditions but we have players who are in good rhythm and were doing really well during the last few months. These five matches will definitely help us with the preparation for the World Cup.”
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo