Australia and England are the only teams to have their matches affected by the weather in this rain-marred World Cup. Australia have won three out of their four matches and sit pretty on the points table.
They have had a major setback in the form of Marcus Stoinis who was the glue that held the team together with his more than useful bowling abilities and his hard-hitting batting down the order. So now nailing down the perfect combination is a challenge for Aaron Finch.
Australia showed grit and resilience to come out of sticky situations against West Indies and Pakistan. However, they let a solid batting platform go to waste in their last match by crumbling under Mohammed Amir's brilliant spell, getting dismissed for 307 when a total of 350 runs was on the cards. So the general feeling going around is that Australia don't look convincing and have not put up a dominating show to assert their status.
They would look to put on a complete, solid performance against a struggling Sri Lankan side today. Without Marcus Stoinis, Australia would need to think of whether to give either Nathan Lyon or Jason Behrendorff their first game this World Cup in place of Kane Richardson.
Ideally, looking at how fragile the Sri Lankan batting lineurp has looked against New Zealand and Afghanistan, it makes complete sense for Behrendoff to operate along with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. He has the ability to swing the ball at pace and can complete this bowling attack.
Sri Lanka have nothing to lose. After getting a drubbing in the hands of the Kiwis, they huffed and puffed their way to a win against Afghanistan. They had a complete rehaul of their team before the World Cup and look the weakest side playing in this World Cup.
After couple of washouts and no cricket in the past ten days, they would want to dent the Aussies campaign by performing well in sunny conditions at the Oval today.
They have had some positives in the way their captain Dimuth Karunaratne carried his bat against Afghanistan to how well Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga pulled things back to put on a winning performance.
Sri Lanka would certainly hope that Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews score something in this important clash. They have a combined two runs to show for their World Cup campaign so far. The only way is up from such a uninspired start.
When: Australia vs Sri Lanka, CWC19, June 15, 3 PM IST
Where: The Oval, London
Some Key Statistics to look forward to from this clash:
- In the last ten matches played against each other, Australia have won six games, Sri Lanka have won three games and one no result. At The Oval, its a 1-1 scoreline in two games so far.
- Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis has a dubious record to his name. He has bagged nine ducks in ODI cricket since 2017.
- Australia have had a poor record at The Oval. They have lost their last five outings here. They last won a game in this ground way back in 2010 and one of the defeats came against the Lankans in the Champions Trophy, 2013.
Key Players for Australia: David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, and Pat Cummins.
Key Players for Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, and Lasith Malinga