Tag: 萧山嫖攻略

Lanka need to use home advantage against Australia

first_imgFor all that the World Cup is billed to be, there are a few contests that carry their own baggage, irrespective of the forum and format. Sri Lanka and Australia contests are played on a tinder box ready to burst into action any moment.Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga during a training sessionThe two teams face off at the Premadasa Stadium on Saturday in a Group A match that will have a bearing on the quarter-final line-up and also prove how the teams have coped with recent off-field ‘incidents’. Players from both teams have been accused, directly or indirectly, of indulging in fixing in this World Cup. If Australian openers Brad Haddin and Shane Watson were reportedly under the lens of the ICC anti-corruption unit for unusually slow batting against Zimbabwe during a game in Ahmedabad, a local channel in Sri Lanka accused Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera of throwing a match against Pakistan. Both episodes have since died down but such accusations don’t leave the players’ mind so easily. These incidents have added spice to an already fiery encounter, given what happened in the 1996 World Cup.That time, Australia and West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka following bomb blasts in Colombo and the hosts entered the quarter-finals even before playing a single game. The Sri Lankans then had a dream run to the final, where they, ironically, met the Aussie and beat them in the final at Lahore.But when the teams enter the ground on Saturday, the baggages will have to be left in the dressing rooms. Current form and team balance will matter and this is where the difference between the two teams has narrowed down. The Australian team of the previous World Cups were so far ahead of the competition, most teams lost a large part of the battle even before the toss. But the current Australian side has a few shortcomings which Krejza – and will rely on their pace attack.advertisementBut it’s not a bad attack to rely on. Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson form one of the fastest and most potent pace battery seen in recent times. A lot of sides have opened the bowling with spinners this World Cup but teams can expect a barrage of thunderbolts from the Aussies first up. On the batting front, the form of Watson and Clarke will be of comfort. Skipper Ponting is slowly returning to form and fitness and will be the backbone of the line-up. The Sri Lankans have a few niggling concerns in their batting. Their middle order was exposed by Pakistan last Saturday and with a lethal pace attack to contend with, any frailties will be out in the open.They, however, have a trump card up their sleeve in paceman Lasith Malinga. He played his first game of this World Cup against Kenya and picked up a hat-trick and will be expected to give the initial breakthroughs on Saturday.The wicket at the Premadasa isn’t the minefield it used to be under lights, so chasing won’t be disadvantage. But with the overcast conditions seen over the past few days, the pacers could have a say in the game. There is very little separating the two teams. The Aussies have a proud record in ICC tournaments and Sri Lanka make the best possible use of home conditions. It could well turn out to be a case of who blinks first. the Sri Lankans know can be exploited.With Michael Hussey out of their side, the ability of their batting lineup to handle the Lankan spin attack will be severely tested. Skipper Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke will be the best bet against an attack which might have three spinners in Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath.The defending champions have a spinner with modest abilities – Jason Krejza – and will rely on their pace attack. But it’s not a bad attack to rely on. Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson form one of the fastest and most potent pace battery seen in recent times. A lot of sides have opened the bowling with spinners this World Cup but teams can expect a barrage of thunderbolts from the Aussies first up. On the batting front, the form of Watson and Clarke will be of comfort. Skipper Ponting is slowly returning to form and fitness and will be the backbone of the line-up.The Sri Lankans have a few niggling concerns in their batting. Their middle order was exposed by Pakistan last Saturday and with a lethal pace attack to contend with, any frailties will be out in the open.advertisementThey, however, have a trump card up their sleeve in paceman Lasith Malinga. He played his first game of this World Cup against Kenya and picked up a hat-trick and will be expected to give the initial breakthroughs on Saturday.The wicket at the Premadasa isn’t the minefield it used to be under lights, so chasing won’t be disadvantage. But with the overcast conditions seen over the past few days, the pacers could have a say in the game. There is very little separating the two teams. The Aussies have a proud record in ICC tournaments and Sri Lanka make the best possible use of home conditions. It could well turn out to be a case of who blinks first.last_img read more

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