Sunday, 15 April 2007

Preview: Australia vs Sri Lanka

The tournament favourites meet in Grenada today in what should be a compelling encounter. Both sides are favoured to meet in the final and they will be eager to impose themselves upon each other early on. The pitch in Grenada has been quite slow and difficult to play on so far and it may well favour Sri Lanka's style of play, especially as they are a Malinga down. Whilst Farheez Maharoof is a decent one day bowler, he is still a bowler the Aussies will fancy getting after and so the likes of Tilakaratne Dilshan and Russell Arnold could prove to be crucial with their contributions of part time spin on the slow surface.

Australia meanwhile must decide who to play instead of Shane Watson. Brad Hodge has been favoured to date, but both Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson are pressing hard for places in the starting line-up. It is likely that they will again favour the extra batting and the part time spin of Andrew Symonds, Michael Clarke and even Hodge. Along with Brad Hogg, a threat because of his rarity, they have decent slow bowling options to match Sri Lanka. Murali of course has strangely not always enjoyed playing the Aussies.

Prediction: Fascinating encounter. Sides have been getting closer to Australia and it could be time for a reality check. Without Malinga though, Sri Lanka are missing that extra penetration. Australia to win the pre-final, maybe Sri Lanka to save their best for the real thing.

Players to watch: Ricky Ponting and Mahela Jayawardene.

1 comment:

Chrispy said...

Cunning ploy by the Sri Lankans to not allow the aussies to get accustomed to Vaas, Malinga and Murali?

Could work for them eventually, especially if the Aussies are made clear favourites should they meet in the final.