The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is in full swing, and as the cricketing giants of Australia and Sri Lanka lock horns, the stakes are higher than ever. Set in the grandeur of Lucknow's Ekana Cricket Stadium, a venue rich in recent narratives and historic favourability towards spinners, this encounter is more than just another game. It's a battle for momentum, redemption, and a shot at semi-final dreams. With both teams not off to their best starts, every move will be magnified, every strategy dissected.
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Match Preview: Australia vs Sri Lanka, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 14th Match
ICC World Cup • 16 Oct, 2023 • 3,544 Views • ⭐ 5.0
Written by Anand Swami
The Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow is gearing up for another enthralling contest. Historically, this venue has been a haven for spinners and slower bowlers, which teams have leveraged in their strategies. Interestingly, the Protea pacers' recent success during this World Cup at this ground provides an intriguing backdrop for upcoming matches. Analyzing past matches, it's evident that teams batting first have found success, suggesting the pitch might be wearing down in the latter half, making it crucial for teams to factor this in when deciding their game plan.
Form Guide - Australia
While the Australians have showcased their cricketing prowess over the decades, their recent form in this World Cup leaves much to be desired. Facing the might of hosts India and a rejuvenated South African team early on, the Australians have been tested on all fronts. Their batting, a traditionally strong suit, has been wanting with none of their batsmen managing to cross the fifty-run threshold in their initial outings. Their top order needs to find form soon to regain their usual dominating stature.
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Form Guide - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's predicament lies not in their batting but in their bowling. The statistics are a testament: conceding 773 runs in just 98.2 overs is a cause for concern. This translates to an economy rate of 7.86, a figure too high for comfort in the 50-over format. To compound their woes, the injury to their captain, Dasun Shanaka, leaves a leadership void. Kusal Mendis, in sublime form, now has the dual task of anchoring the batting while providing strategic direction on the field.
Players to Watch
Australia's Adam Zampa, often the linchpin in their bowling attack, has faced challenges this World Cup, putting his form under scrutiny. Given the venue's historical favorability towards spinners, Zampa's performance could be pivotal in determining Australia's fate in the upcoming match. Sri Lanka's beacon, Kusal Mendis, comes into the spotlight not just for his run-scoring abilities, showcased by his century against Pakistan, but also due to the additional responsibilities thrust upon him due to Shanaka's injury. With Australia's batting yet to fire, Mendis' leadership will be crucial in exploiting this vulnerability.
Australia, hoping for a turnaround, might persist with their trusted lineup, with Inglis donning the gloves. Their reliance on a stable team composition underlines the importance of backing their core players during challenging times. Sri Lanka's injury woes might necessitate changes: Chamika Karunaratne could bolster their bowling, but Matheesha Pathirana's potential absence might leave a gap in their pace attack. The latter's absence could provide an opportunity for another pacer to step up and make a mark on this significant stage.
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Pitch and Weather Report
Ekana Stadium's pitch has been a puzzle. Its historical reputation as a challenging track for batsmen is juxtaposed with recent high scores, hinting at a fresh, more balanced pitch for this World Cup. Weather-wise, players can expect a day of hazy sunshine with temperatures hovering between 26° C to 33° C. The absence of rain is a positive sign, but teams will have to strategize for the dew factor that might come into play during the second innings.
Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins (capt), Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood.
Sri Lanka (Probable)
Kusal Mendis (capt, wk), Kasun Rajitha, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Kusal Perera, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dunith Wellalage, Pathum Nissanka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Maheesh Theekshana.
Dasun Shanaka is out of the tournament, replaced by seam bowler Chamika Karunaratne, who might play immediately. Fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana, with a shoulder issue, is under team observation.
Australia vs Sri Lanka in Match 14 of World Cup 2023 will be broadcast live on Star Sports in multiple languages. Australian fans can stream the match on the Disney+ Hotstar app and website. The clash will be hosted at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow, on Monday, October 16. It's set to begin at 2 pm IST, 8:30 am GMT, and 1:30 pm Australian time.
On October 16th, as the sun sets, one of the two teams, Australia or Sri Lanka, will have rewritten a chapter of their World Cup 2023 journey. Australia, with a legacy of dominance to uphold, and Sri Lanka, with a point to prove amidst challenges, will be playing against each other. With the pitch's mysteries, player forms, and team dynamics in play, this promises to be a cricketing carnival for fans worldwide. A tale of passion, strategy, and legacy awaits in Lucknow.
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