Kusal Mendis is likely to return for visitors, with hosts forced to replace the concussed Steven Smith
Australia are 2-0 up in the series but only by the skin of their teeth. Sri Lanka nearly pulled off the impossible in game two and exposed some of Australia’s weaknesses. If the visitors had more top-order support for Pathum Nissanka, the series would easily have been levelled.
(Last five completed matches; most recent first)
Sri Lanka LLWLL
In the spotlight
Aaron Finch is undoubtedly the best captain for Australia’s T20I side, but his form with the bat is starting to become a worry. In his last 14 T20Is, he has just one half-century and seven single-figure scores, including in four of his last five innings. It could have easily been five in five had he been given out lbw on 7 on Sunday night against Maheesh Theekshana. It was the first of two lbw reviews that he survived thanks to umpire’s call in his 20-ball 25.
Finch has averaged just 21 and has struck at 117 in his last 14 innings, which include the T20 World Cup and the West Indies tour. He has looked increasingly uncomfortable against Sri Lanka’s spinners. Finch would want some runs to put to bed any concerns over his place ahead of a World Cup title defence later in the year.
Charith Asalanka is on his first trip to Australia so it is hard to be too critical of his first two outings in this series. But Sri Lanka need him to adjust quickly if they are having any hope of winning the last three games. He showed he has big-time temperament and skill with some excellent performances in the T20 World Cup.
However, the extra pace and bounce in Australia has clearly caused him some concerns. Lots of deliveries from Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have hit high on his bat, including the one he chopped-on on Sunday night. He needs to find a way to not only rotate the strike better, but also to attack those balls off the back foot as Nissanka has been able to do.
Australia will likely make two changes with Smith needing to be replaced, and one of Hazlewood or Cummins set for a rest. Moises Henriques is the obvious replacement for Smith in the middle order, and would slot straight into his exact role. Starc was rested in the second T20I, although his recent T20I form hasn’t been great. Jhye Richardson is next cab off the rank as far as the quicks are concerned if they want to experiment with a different new-ball bowler.
Australia (possible): 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Ben McDermott, 3 Josh Inglis, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Moises Henriques, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Kane Richardson, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazelwood
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Kusal Mendis, 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Avishka Fernando, 4 Charith Asalanka, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Maheesh Theekshana, 11 Nuwan Thushara
Pitch and conditions
The Manuka Oval in Canberra has only hosted two T20Is, and scores have not been overly high; however, it has normally been an excellent batting track in the BBL. The weather is set to be all clear for the cricket to take place.
Stats and trivia
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo