CWC19: Australia vs Sri Lanka – Five Things We Learned

It was business as usual for Australia and Sri Lanka, but what else did we learn from their clash at The Oval?

I know that an 87 run margin isn’t close but that was a close match. At 0/115 off 15 overs and going at near 8 per over chasing just 335 at 6.7 Sri Lanka looked like they were going to win. Even when wickets started to fall, it never looked like they were going to keep falling. It was nervous. While Sri Lanka’s run rate fell later, it was well and truly up there while they still had wickets in hand. Even when Australia batted, it had a feeling of this was a repeat of the game against Pakistan, only not quite as bad. We should have got 350. We only got 335. Those run outs by Udana were incredible.

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Five Things We Learned:

(1) Australia need a 5th bowler

All everyone has talked about is how badly Australia need a 5th bowler. While I don’t advocate the use of Mitchell Marsh on any occasions, he is better than Glenn Maxwell by some distance, as a bowler at least, and in pace-friendly conditions you’d rather have Mmarsh’s bowling that Maxi’s. Either that or we could have an extra bowler like Pakistan and West Indies do, and play this lineup but with Nathan Coulter-Nile instead of Smarsh. It’d mean Carey comes in at 6 but with Smarsh contributing 23 and 3 in his two matches so far, and Nathan Coulter-Nile managing 92, 4 and 2, there’s an argument that you wouldn’t be losing anything in the batting stakes anyway. Whatever the side ends up being, we can’t keep going like this.

(2) Sri Lanka are awful

Concede 334, check. Collapse from 0/114 to 247 all out, check. Go from a winning position to losing by 87 runs, check. They did the same thing against Afghanistan but somehow came back to just barely win. They are just throwing their matches away. Their whinging to the ICC about getting the wrong grounds, or whatever that was all about, doesn’t help matters. They are just plain negative. This is the worst they’ve been since they were granted test status. Even as an associate team they beat India in the 1979 World Cup. This team looks a whole lot worse.

(3) Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are awesome

Who needs 5 decent bowlers when your best two are this good? They are probably up there with the best bowlers in the competition right now, and they are well and truly carrying the bowling attack. Imagine if Jhye Richardson was with them. Or if they’d picked Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson as their 3rd and 4th bowlers instead of Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendorff. But hey, this way there’s more wickets for Cummins and Starc.

(4) Karunaratne is Sri Lanka’s one shining light

97 off 108 was just awesome and he just keeps doing it. He is yet to have a failure in the World Cup so far, getting 52, 30 and 97, and he had a great warm-up match against South Africa too. He isn’t the problem. The problem is everyone else.

(5) David Warner the slow poke

Who would have thought that we’d be talking about David Warner getting out as being a good thing for the run rate, but, right now at least, it’s true. He is in form in terms of average, 2nd on the run scoring list right now, but his strike rate is just horrible. He had a good IPL too, but he just isn’t finding ways to score quickly enough. 26 off 48 in a team total of 334 is way too slow. While Khawaja’s 10 off 20 and Smarsh’s 3 off 9 were pretty awful too, they at least only faced a few balls. Warner got in and still was going slowly. This is becoming a bit of an issue.

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