Fantasy Insights for the 2nd of the 5-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and Australia, at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Pallekele.

Final Fantasy Team

Wicketkeeper: Kusal Mendis

Batters: Steven Smith, David Warner, Aaron Finch, Charith Asalanka, Pathum Nissanka

Allrounders: Glenn Maxwell

Bowlers: Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Maheesh Theekshana, Matthew Kuhnemann

C/VC: Josh Hazlewood, David Warner

Base Team

Wicketkeeper: Kusal Mendis

Batters: David Warner, Steven Smith, Charith Asalanka

Allrounders: Glenn Maxwell

Bowlers: Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Maheesh Theekshana

The final Team with C/VC picks will be given after the toss.

Wicketkeepers – Fantasy Angles and Stats:

Kusal Mendis is a no-brainer after the last game. As we had predicted, Mendis batting higher than Carey worked out in the Sri Lankan’s favour.

If Australia bat first, you could gamble on Alex Carey in mega leagues. 

Batters – Fantasy Angles and Stats:

David Warner: Despite the duck in the last game, Warner is one of the safest options in this match In a high-scoring venue, back the left-hander to return at least 50 runs. 

Aaron Finch: Again, as we had called in our last fantasy preview, Finch scored in the range of 30-50. With no Hasaranga this time, expect the Aussie captain to go one step further and cross the 50-run mark in this fixture.

Steven Smith: It was not a surprise to see Smith help himself to an easy 50 in the first game. He is, after all, Australia’s most reliable batter in the format. 

Charith Asalanka: Asalanka is the safest Lankan batter in this fixture. The left-hander arrested a mini 3-wicket collapse in the last match by stitching together a fine 77-run partnership with Kusal Mendis. Expect another 30+ score from the 24-year-old.

Sri Lankan openers Pathum Nissanka and Danushka Gunathilaka might have scored a 50 each last time, but picking them is always a risk considering the quality of bowling they will be up against. If you want to get one, try Nissanka, as he has a tighter technique than Gunathilka and takes lesser risks.

Allrounders – Fantasy Angles and Stats:

Glenn Maxwell: Maxwell bowled 10 overs in the last game without any success. With Travis Head’s likely inclusion and only two left-handers in the Sri Lankan batting line-up, expect a reduction in the number of overs he bowls in this game. But against a Hasaranga-less home bowling unit, his batting value increases.

Bowlers – Fantasy Angles and Stats:

Maheesh Theekshana:

At Pallekele International Cricket Stadium: 34-1-150-3

After getting David Warner out LBW on the first ball, Theekshana struggled throughout the innings in the last game. And his career ODI figures at Pallekele is still ordinary. 

If Sri Lanka bowl first, leaving the 21-year-old out for someone like Chamika Karunaratne, who has a low selection %, will bowl at the death and is also handy with the bat, can work wonders.

Josh Hazlewood: Australia bowled out the majority of Hazlewood overs before the 40-over mark in the series opener. However, the two overs he bowled at the death were 48th and 50th, presenting him with prime wicket-taking opportunities. After the last game’s performance, many will be reluctant to cap or vice-cap the Australian quick, and that’s your chance to convert him into a differential.

Between Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins, it is always safer to go with Cummins because of seniority. Captains rely on senior bowlers in critical moments, giving them a better opportunity to contribute. Cummins also becomes a differential in this game as he was wicketless the other night, which resulted in his selection % dropping.

Only 3 times in his 70-game career has Cummins gone wicketless in back-to-back innings. So, expect a couple of wickets today! 

Predicted Playing XI:

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey(wk), Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Swepson, Josh Hazlewood

Travis Head and Mitchell Swepson should replace the injured duo of Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar.

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis(wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dunith Wellalage, Dushmantha Chameera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Maheesh Theekshana

Jeffrey Vandersay will likely replace Wanindu Hasaranga, who has been ruled out of the second ODI with a groin strain.

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