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T20 World Cup 2021, Australia vs Sri Lanka (Super 12) Preview: Teams look to continue their dominant start

Australia and Sri Lanka have been off to a dominant start in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, winning their opening match. However, one of the teams is likely to suffer its first loss, as the two teams collide on Thursday.

T20 World Cup 2021, Australia vs Sri Lanka (Super 12) Preview: Team analysis, head-to-head, pitch probable, fantasy xi-ayh
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Dubai - United Arab Emirates, First Published Oct 28, 2021, 6:30 AM IST
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Australia will have a complicated task at hand when it takes on former champion Sri Lanka in Group 1's Super 12 tie of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday. Both teams have been off to a dominant start to the competition. While one of the teams is likely to suffer a defeat on Thursday, we present the match preview of this compelling clash.

Current form
Australia has had a mixed start to the tournament, winning and losing one each of its warm-up clashes, besides winning its opening encounter. As for Sri Lanka, it won both its warm-up games and also its opening game, while it has been on a winning spree of late. As far as this game goes, it is difficult to predict an outright winner.

LIVE SCORECARD: ICC T20 World Cup 2021 - Australia vs Sri Lanka (Super 12)

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Team strength & weaknesses, and players to watch out
Considering the sides, Australia is astonishingly heavy with the ball. But, it seems like the right call considering the slow nature of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tracks. Moreover, opener David Warner's feeble form is a matter of concern. Nevertheless, the ones to draw the attention would also be Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

On the other hand, Lanka is slightly heavy on its bowling. However, the star power in its batting can play a decisive role. While its latest winning streak would aid its confidence, the eyes would be upon stars like Avishka Fernando, skipper Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Akila Danajaya and a couple more.

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Injury concerns, head-to-head, weather and pitch report
None of the sides has any injury concerns. The two sides have played each other on 16 occasions, with Australia the rivalry being tied 1-1, while of the three meetings between the two in the tournament, Australia leads 2-1. The weather in Dubai would be heated, with 32 degrees of expected temperature and 57% humidity. The track would be slightly slower but is expected to stay majorly even, while winning the toss could prompt the skipper to bowl first, considering the dew factor.

Probable XI
Australia:
David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matt Wade (wk), Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando/Maheesh Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga and Lahiru Kumara

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Fantasy XI
Batters:
Warner, Smith, Rajapaksa- Warner should give the right start, along with Smith at number three, while Rajapaksa can bat both in the top or middle-order.
Wicketkeeper: Perera: He is the man in form in the department and can be Warner's perfect opening partner.
All-rounders: Maxwell, Hasaranga (c)- Maxwell has been effective in all departments, while Hasaranga is ruling with the ball, making him the skipper.
Bowlers: Hazlewood, Chameera, Kumara (vc), Karunaratne, Theekshana- Theekshana would heavily impact with his spin, while the remaining four have been consistently impacting with their pace and would be no different this term. Kumara's consistency makes him the deputy captain.

Match details
Date and day:
October 28, 2021 (Thursday)
Venue: Dubai International Stadium
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar

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