Australia, India hold the edge, Sri Lanka the dark horses

CB Series Preview — India, Australia and Sri Lanka

Australia

Batting

Michael Clarke has had a productive last one and a half year in the ODI format and will look forward to carry his brilliant test form this summer into the shorter format. He has been the batsman with the highest impact for Australia in the last one year (2.19) and is a potential game changer especially in the ODI format.

The other two senior members in the side have also hit a purple patch of late and things can only augur well for Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey. Though there have been many critics of Ponting asking for his head, he has actually managed to string together decent one day innings’ in the past one year, with his century against the Indians in the World Cup headlining his act. The only problem with him however has been his 50 to 100 conversion. His batting impact of 1.80 in the past one year shows that his contributions have been crucial to his team on a regular basis. Although Michael Hussey was the top scorer for Australia in the one day series against South Africa his Batting IMPACT for the last one year has been a meager 1.24 and he will look to improve on that.

Together, Hussey, Ponting and Clarke will also lead Australia’s ability to absorb pressure while batting given their expertise in the department over their careers.

David Warner has not yet been able to build on his starts in the one day format and he too will want to cement his place as an opener for his team. Matthew Wade is yet to debut in the ODI format but his man of the match performance in the first T20 match against India should be a good precursor to his batting talent. Mitchell Marsh and Daniel Christian on the other hand will both be trying to fill in that all-rounder’s spot which is up for grabs. Again both of them are relatively inexperienced in the international stage and this tri-series will be a good stage to test their cricketing acumen.

David Hussey being the rustic sort of player he is, will be a key utility player for the Aussies in this tri-series. His career Bowling IMPACT of 0.98 shows his ability to bowl off spinners during the middle overs complimented with his career Batting IMPACT of 1.53, Hussey should be able fill in the spot of an all-rounder if both Marsh and Christian fail in that role.

Bowling

Australia’s bowling department is reasonably inexperienced and it will be up to Brett Lee to spearhead a promising fast bowling attack. Brett Lee clearly heads the bowling IMPACT list with his Bowling IMPACT of 2.38 in the last one year. An even better understanding of his role can be gauged by the fact that his failure rate of 8.33% in last one year is the lowest amongst all the bowlers in this tri-series. Over his career, Lee has shown great calibre for Big Match performances and series defining ability and is the best bowler on that count in this series.

Ryan Harris and Mitchell Starc haven’t featured in many ODI’s for Australia but whenever they have been given the chance, they have performed commendably in that scenario. One more success story for Australia has been the performance of the left arm off spinner Xavier Doherty. Doherty in the last one year had a bowling IMPACT of 1.99, the best amongst all the other spinners.

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