Sri Lanka suffered a batting collapse in first ODI which affected their chances © Getty Images
Sri Lanka suffered a batting collapse in first ODI which affected their chances © Getty Images

A young Sri Lanka side stunned Australia in the Test series with a thumping 3-0 win. They created history by whitewashing a clueless Australian side who fell prey to spin-friendly pitches. But, Australia gave a fitting reply to Sri Lanka in first of the five-ODI series, winning it by 3 wickets and 19 balls to spare. A batting collapse ensured Sri Lanka of not posting a big total on the board. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals which hampered the momentum that  Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal’s partnership provided. The absence of Rangana Herath has had a major impact on Sri Lanka’s spin department as they are not able to dominate the Australian batsmen and thereby stopping the flow of runs. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs Australia 2016, 2nd ODI at Colombo

Top Order: Kusal Perera could only manage to score a single as he got bamboozled by Mitchell Starc’s pace. Perera’s performance in the Test series was an ordinary one as well. He needs to do better in order to retain his place in the squad. Veteran opener Tillakaratne Dilshan got off to a start but became victim of Moises Henriques. Similar to David Warner, he cannot be ruled out on the basis of one bad performance in first ODI. On the contrary Mendis is in the form of his life. After a great run in the Test series, he scored a half-century in first ODI rescuing the innings along with wicketkeeper-batsman Chandimal.

Middle Order: Only one batsmen in the middle-order was holding on to one end in first ODI. Chandimal scored 80 not out as wickets kept falling from other end. Skipper Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva got out in quick succession to put the team in misery. Their performance in the Test series was pretty decent. Both the batsmen fell prey to Starc. They need to devise a strategy against him as Starc has dominated them on the ongoing tour. Milinda Siriwardana got of to a start but could not convert it into a big score and share a partnership with Chandimal. Siriwardana could not impress with his part-time bowling either but will likely be given another chance.

Lower Order: Sri Lanka have all-rounders in the lower order. Thisara Perera’s cameos prove to be beneficial down the order, he did the same in the first ODI as well and in previous series against England. Dilruwan Perera and Amila Aponso can bat too and that gives Sri Lanka’s batting order the depth they need. Lakshan Sandakan proved handy with the ball in first ODI along with Dilruwan, they took 5 wickets at Colombo. Aponso, too, was economical and took one wicket in the first game and will surely be given another chance. Other than Aponso, fast bowlers were not able to trouble Australian batsmen.

Sri Lanka’s Likely XI: Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Angelo Mathews (c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan

(Arun Rawal, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a daydreamer, movie buff, and cricket fanatic. He could not play cricket, so did the next best thing, writing for it. He loves to play the flick shot over square leg, and believes Sachin Tendulkar is God. His Twitter handle is @ArunRawal93)