All eyes on interim head coach McDonald; visitors boosted by the Hasaranga’s return
Australia will look to move on from the polarising departure of coach Justin Langer when it lines up for the Twenty20 clash against Sri Lanka on Friday.
Langer was anyway going to miss the five-match series, having opted to rest after a long stint on the road, during which he led Australia to the T20 World Cup title and a 4-0 Ashes hammering of England.
In his absence Andrew McDonald — among the favourites to take over — will act as interim head coach.
He takes control of a squad missing two key players that won November’s World Cup final — David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.
Warner’s absence has opened the door for the Big Bash League’s top run-scorer Ben McDermott, who will open alongside Aaron Finch.
Test skipper Pat Cummins spearheads the bowling attack alongside Ashes hero Mitchell Starc.
The Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka is buoyed by the return of World No. 1 T20 bowler Wanindu Hasaranga.
Dushmantha Chameera headlines the pace attack, but Sri Lanka is without opener and part-time wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis, who tested positive and is in isolation.
Mendis had only returned to the fold last month after appealing a 12-month ban for breaching coronavirus regulations while touring England last year. Dinesh Chandimal is expected to take the gloves instead.
The first two matches are at the Sydney Cricket Ground, followed by a clash in Canberra and two in the city of Melbourne.
The teams: Australia: Aaron Finch (Capt.), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Josh Inglis, Ben McDermott, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade and Adam Zampa.
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (Capt.), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Janith Liyanage, Kamil Mishara, Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Thushara, Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrama and Shiran Fernando.
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