ICC World Cup 2019 SL vs AUS: Betting odds

ICC World Cup 2019 SL vs AUS: Betting odds

Sri Lanka will bank on Lasith Malinga to make inroads against Australia. (Reuters Photo)

1996 World Cup final: The favourites were defeated by the spirited underdogs. 

2007 World Cup final: The underdogs lost, but not without a fight.

This time, the underdogs are depleted, stripped of their powers. Now, what happens when a struggling team faces a rampaging side? A one-sided affair. 

Precisely what Sri Lanka will look to avoid in their clash against Australia. The once glorious team that reached two consecutive World Cup finals in the last 12 years (2007 and 2011) is now struggling to find form and surge to a coveted semifinal spot.

The Lankans are looking incongruous in the tournament, with sloppy performances and piteous body language. Lasith Malinga wanted his teammates to feel the "shame of losing" and rejig their campaign, but the team is now in danger of making the ''shame'' a habit. Their top order batsmen are failing to score and pile on runs, and the bowlers are looking out of sorts in the ever-changing English conditions. The 'Islanders' are now up against an in-form Australia, who have registered three wins out of four games without playing particularly well. Sri Lanka need to pull up their socks, conjure up some form and churn out a brilliant performance to get the two points. 

Australia, on the other hand, is ticking all the boxes, except the one that reads 'dominating performance'. Their victories over West Indies and Pakistan were laced with a lot of skittish ''what is happening?'' moments. West Indies bombarded them with short balls before Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile came to their rescue. They were 146/0 at one stage against Pakistan, only to slump to 307, a total their coach Justin Langer described as "40-50 runs short". In the bowling though, Australia has their usual zip and lethality with Mitchell Starc leading the way. The team may not be playing scintillating cricket at the moment, but the undaunting spirit and unyielding courage have been the hallmark of Australian cricket. They are ingredients that can help the team hit the top gear just at the right moment. 

Probable XI

Australia: Aaron Finch(c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis/Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey(wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep

Betting odds: According to Oddschecker, Sri Lanka 6/1, Australia 2/13

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