It has been regrettable that the revamped Australian ODI Tri Series that has been drama packed throughout with highlights a plenty has had scant support from the Aussie crowds. The lack of support shows the dying nature of the ODI game in Australia, but with this Finals series going into a deciding game with the Teams hard to split. Any Cricket fan worth their salt would want to be there to take in a potential classic and all the drama and tension that will accompany it.
Duly let us look at the game further to try to find a winner
The Aussies have been delivered a potential killer blow with the injury to Captain Michael Clarke, that will not only rule him out of this game, but indeed most of the Caribbean tour. He will be impossible to replace in a batting line up that has struggled at times and relied on a too few to carry them. Though Peter Forrest, who will be Clarke's replacement has shown a pedigree in the series so far and can be relied on to be a contributor it is still a huge blow to the Team.
Leaving the team as follows
Wade, Warner, Watson ( C ), Forrest, D Hussey, M Hussey, Christian, Lee, Lyon, McKay, Doherty
The Keys For Australia to Win.
In the post mortem to the flaying the Team got in the 2nd Final the response from the Australian Coach Mickey Arthurs was that the 'performance simply was not good enough'
The main focus being on a bowling unit that was put to the sword in the last Final loss, and in the latter parts of the 1st Final.
A struggling bowling unit with a deciding Final being played on the batting paradise of the Adelaide Oval does not augur well for a Team prevailing in this decider. So logically there has to be a huge lift from the bowling unit in particular the opening bowlers who need to focus on getting the lethal Sri Lankan top three out cheaply.
Maybe a smart tactical move would be to have the defensive bowling of Shane Watson open the bowling with his heady medium pace. Rather than the all out attacking bowling of Brett Lee, who can get wickets, but can also be hit all over humanity giving the opposition a great start to stake domination from.
Bowling is not the only concern for Australia with its batting displaying real fragility and a lack of ability to deliver killer blows.
The 2nd Final was testimony to this with them coasting with dual centurions Michael Clarke and Dave Warner sharing in a 118 run partnership. But both struggling to accelerate enough to get the score to over 300 that was necessary on the pitch.
In scoring only 271, it was an indictment to the tactics employed by the aforementioned two and the rest of the line up with them failing to set the tourist a very tough total.
Dave Warner will be the key again in this match especially with the absence of Clarke, but others need to lift to make the batting perform at an adequate level to win.
A huge key in this will be the ODI sleeping batting giant in Shane Watson awakening. A player that has shown the potential to devastate like few others. It might be wise to return him to the opening role where he has so excelled in place of Matthew Wade.
If the top order can perform it will give the lower middle order finishers like the Hussey's and Dan Christian a perfect platform to play decisive cameos which have been lacking so far for the Aussies.
The only change to a Team that has shown that they are more than matching the Aussie is a refit Angelo Mathews coming into the Team in place of Chamara Kapugedera. Making the Team as follows:
Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedara/Angelo Mathews, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath.
The Keys for Sri Lanka to Win
As we are on the dawn of this match everything is in favour of Sri Lanka with the pitch to their liking, their top three dominating and Australia losing its best batsman and leader in Michael Clarke
The only question being whether they can take a golden chance to win a trophy on Aussie soil?
I say without hesitation YES
The only trepidation I have is the relative weakness of the bowling which is magnified with their spearhead Lasith Malinga being burdened with injury. The likelihood is that he will play, but their is huge doubt over him being at his normal lethal best.
Leaving a greater emphasis on the rest of the bowling unit that is useful without having any real threat. Meaning if an opposition batting line up is on song they could be truly obliterated to a score of 350+
An interesting ploy used with effect in the 2nd Final and should continue in this match was Tillakaratne Dilshan opening the bowling with his very under rated off spin. This cost Wade his wicket and also cooled Dave Warner's jets, who looked to be ill at ease against the spin up front.
Away from the bowling unit itself, the fielding in support was appalling and it must be said very Un Sri Lankan in the amount of dropped catches that cost probably 40 bonus runs.
They were lucky in that Final not to have the Aussies make them pay big for this, but if they show the same butter fingers in this game it might cost them the ultimate with a loss.
If the bowling unit with the support of the field can control the Aussie batting you have every faith that the batting will dominate the Aussie bowling again.
Meaning a Sri Lankan series win
A Winning Total?
The Adelaide Oval is known for one thing.............
A batting paradise with short square boundaries that are easy as pie to hit 6's on
So batting first you would target a score of 320+ as being challenging for the opposition.
This being a deciding Final brings the added burden of pressure into the equation so I think 300+ would be a very decent score
The loss of Clarke is huge for Australia and I cannot see them winning without him.
So I think Sri Lanka will win, and might actually win easily