Australia will look to seal the top position in the World Cup 2019 points table with a win over unlucky Sri Lanka, who lost two matches to rain besides a crushing defeat to New Zealand. The two teams will clash in a league match at Kennington Oval, London, on Saturday. The Dimuth Karunaratne-led Sri Lanka made a disastrous start in the World Cup 2019 with a 10-wicket loss to New Zealand after being bowled out for paltry 137. Sri Lanka then had their tussle with rain in three consecutive matches, out of which they won one against Afghanistan while matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh were washed out without a ball being bowled.
Defending champions Australia, on the other hand, have been largely unstoppable with their loss against India being the only blemish in an otherwise professional performance so far in the tournament.
The five-time winners are placed second with three wins from four games. With two fifties and a hundred, David Warner has been simply outstanding, helping Australia post 300-plus scores in the last two matches.
The opener hasn't yet looked his destructive best but the 107 off 111 balls against Pakistan will ease his mind. The knock was his first century since making a comeback after the ball-tampering scandal and he would look to play with more freedom now.
Skipper Aaron Finch too has two fifties to show in the last four innings. He and Warner gave Australia a rampaging start against Pakistan in their last match and the duo will back themselves for an encore against Sri Lanka.
However, Australia have looked vulnerable against quality pace bowling -- they were reduced to 79 for five by West Indies.
Their middle order is brittle and squandered superb starts against Pakistan and India. Sri Lanka will look to exploit these weaknesses on Saturday.
Sri Lanka will hope that fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who had injured himself ahead of the Bristol game, returns Saturday to strengthen the bowling attack.
Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga, who had to fly home following the demise of mother-in-law, is also likely to play Saturday and the onus would be on the pace duo to get wickets.
In the batting department, the Karunaratne-led side has failed to last the full 50 overs against New Zealand and Afghanistan.
They lost five wickets for 14 runs against New Zealand and then seven wickets for 36 runs against Afghanistan. The former champions will have to address their batting woes before they take on the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, both of whom have taken nine wickets each so far.
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis (wk), Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.
The match starts at 3 PM (IST).
(With PTI inputs)