Hot favourites to beat Sri Lanka at Gabba today

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Daily News

Author 2019-10-30 03:30:00

Hot favourites to beat Sri Lanka at Gabba today

Aaron Finch has declared he wants Australia to be the best Twenty20 side on the planet by next October’s ICC T20 World Cup, though what appears a lofty ambition could theoretically be achieved as soon as next week.

After defeating India away in their most recent completed T20 series and after Sunday’s thrashing of Sri Lanka in Adelaide, Australia currently sit in fourth position on the ICC rankings on a rating of 262 (level with South Africa though behind on decimal points).

Clean sweeps of the three-match series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the next 10 days would propel Australia into top spot, where an impressive Pakistani outfit currently sit, as long as New Zealand win one of their five upcoming matches at home to England.

But such is the unpredictability of the format, Pakistan were beaten by the seventh-placed Sri Lankans 3-0 earlier this month.

“That’s the goal,” Finch said when asked about Australia’s push to improve their world placing to number one in a format in which they’ve struggled to match their traditional domination in Test and ODIs.

“I think there’s always times when you go through ups and downs as a side, but now we’ve got a specific date in mind, which is the start of the World Cup, to really build that foundation of a really good, solid T20 side that can beat the best in the world and sustain that for a long period of time.

“One of the most important things is that we can sustain it … being a more well-rounded side and that all comes back to the balance of the side, and the consistency and chemistry.

“The more we can get that going well together, the more consistent I think you’ll see our side.”

Australia are hot favourites to beat Sri Lanka in Wednesday night’s second T20I at the Gabba and Finch said each match the team now play would be viewed through the wider lens of next year’s World Cup on home soil – a piece of silverware conspicuously missing from the hosts’ trophy cabinet.

Central in Australia’s plans is the compilation of a playing squad with considerable experience at international level, something that team rotation is set to provide. Such a process is already in action, with Mitchell Starc permitted to miss tomorrow night’s fixture in order to attend his brother’s wedding, paving the way for the likely inclusion of pacemen Billy Stanlake or Sean Abbott.

“Everything that we’re doing on and off field is based around working back from the T20 World Cup,” Finch explained.

“That’s with selections, that’s with the way we’re managing our players and giving guys enough game time as well so they’re getting more and more T20 exposure; I think domestically there’s enough there but internationally we just haven’t had the amount of cricket we would’ve liked over the last couple of years.

“The fact we’ve got 20 (T20) games (before the World Cup) … we’re just really pleased that we’re playing more of it now.”

Australia’s second T20I against Sri Lanka begins at 6pm local time (SLT 1.40 pm) on Wednesday at the Gabba.

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