By and large many results in this Cricket World Cup have been hard to predict as teams peak and trough in different games, but one thing is certain; 2011 finalists Sri Lanka will feel right at home in Sydney.
It’s a strange claim given Australia are the opposition in their own magnificent surroundings of the Sydney Cricket Ground.
However, it’s the conditions on the pitch rather than the amount of support in the stands which will give Sri Lanka a sense of familiarity and renders them such a good price at 11/4 to upset the World Cup co-hosts in this pivotal Pool A encounter.
The fact Australian selectors have felt compelled to bring in slow left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty for his 2015 World Cup debut, reveals much about the nature of the SGC surface.
Remember both sides have won three and lost one coming into this match, though it is Angelo Mathews’ in-form team who are chasing a fourth consecutive victory, not Michael Clarke’s side, who lost in Hamilton to New Zealand on their third outing.
Thus far, the 1/3 favourites for victory have got among the opposition batsmen thanks to the most fearsome pace attack at the tournament led by the three Mitchells; Stark, Johnson and Marsh.
Owing to the conditions, Marsh is likely to make way for Shane Watson while Sri Lanka’s probable two-pronged spin attack could be key.
This bet would clearly benefit most if Mathews was able to put Australia in to maximise the grassless strip later in the game.
However, with Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne inside the top ten run makers at the tournament so far, despite playing a game less, the Sri Lankans look sure to provide a stern test at a ground they have an 80 per cent record at in 10 completed ODIs.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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