Sydney: Australia plans to avenge big-match hidings from Sri Lanka and experiment with World Cup initiatives during the limited-overs triangular series.
Australia meet England in the opening day-night game here Friday but the hosts are looking forward to the prospect of facing Sanath Jayasuriya’s team.
Sri Lanka beat Australia by seven wickets in the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo last September.
Meanwhile, England’s Andrew Flintoff, who is recovering from a hernia operation, will be sent back and will miss the one-day series and the remaining two Ashes Tests, England coach Duncan Fletcher said Thursday.
“We’ve had a very difficult decision to make, and it is disappointing for us and him,” said Fletcher. “But Andrew is going to go back to the UK to try and get this thing sorted out for the World Cup (starting in February in South Africa). He is simply not making any progress at the moment. He has been checked out in Australia, and no-one out here could find a problem.”
Brett Lee will play the opening game under instructions to continue the chaos he created in the third Ashes Test in Perth.
Captain Ricky Ponting rated Lee ahead of Andy Bichel in their latest battle to be Australia’s third pace bowler after the Sydney Cricket Ground curator predicted a bouncy pitch.
“I’m tempted to keep playing him — anyone bowling that sort of pace is going to worry batsmen at certain times,” Ponting said. “He showed that in Perth and he’s showed it in most games he’s played when he’s bowling fast.