Lanka take on star-studded Prime Minister’s XI today
Siddle expects a fierce contest from the visitors
Peter Siddle and Dan Christian co-captains of Prime Minister’s XI
Some of Australia’s T20 World Cup aspirants will have the chance to stake their claims for selection when the Prime Minister’s XI tackles Sri Lanka in a T20 warm-up match on Thursday.
The likes of Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting will feature in the Twenty20 match at Manuka Oval, alongside co-captains Peter Siddle and Dan Christian.
Lynn will be the star attraction for the clash after he was a big-name omission from Australia’s 14-man squad to face Sri Lanka and Pakistan in back-to-back Gillette T20 International series in coming weeks.
Siddle said he was expecting a fierce contest from Sri Lanka, who will face Australia in a three-match T20 series, starting October 27.
“There’s probably a handful of guys who are looking to get selection in the World Cup and probably a legitimate chance of maybe getting the call-up,” Siddle said.
“I think it’s going to be a good hit-out for everyone, not just the young guys in the squad, but a few of the senior guys who are a chance of getting selected.
“They (Sr Lanka) are going to be taking it seriously because it’s their tour match before the start of their international campaign here. I think that makes it exciting.”
The Jason Gillespie-coached PM’s XI comprises five players with international experience – Siddle, Christian, Lynn, Cutting and Fawad Ahmed.
Jordan Silk (Tas), Daniel Fallins (NSW), Harry Nielsen (SA), Jason Sangha (NSW), Chris Green (NSW) have also been included, along with ACT products Djali Bloomfield and Daniel Leerdam (12th man).
“It looks really strong,” Christian said of the PM’s XI line-up.
“To have guys like ‘Sidds’ obviously, Chris Lynn, Ben Cutting, Chris Green, Fawad Ahmed – all of these guys who are specifically playing T20s – I think it’s fantastic.
“It’s a really good chance for all of us to show our wares I suppose in somewhere other than a Big Bash (game) or a T20 around the world.”
Lynn hasn’t played a competitive fixture since the Canada T20 competition in August, having opted out of this year’s Marsh One-Day Cup 50-over competition with Queensland.
His lack of recent match practice was something Cricket Australia’s National Selector Trevor Hohns cited after the T20 squad was announced earlier this month. Lynn is one of the country’s most explosive white-ball cricketers and boasts a T20 career record of 4,425 runs at a strike rate of 141.96.
“Hopefully plenty of sixes,” Christian said when asked what he expected from Lynn.
“Hopefully he gets off to a flyer and puts a bit of a show on, like we’ve all seen in the Big Bash the past few years.
“He’s an absolute superstar of the game and hopefully he can smack the Sri Lankans around and get us off to a good start.”
PRIME MINISTER’S XI: Dan Christian (co-captain), Peter Siddle (co-captain), Chris Lynn, Ben Cutting, Jason Sangha, Fawad Ahmed, Jordan Silk, Daniel Fallins, Harry Nielsen, Chris Green, Djali Bloomfield, Daniel Leerdam (12th man)
SRI LANKA: Lasith Malinga (captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha.