Watercooler Talk: Sr Lanka vs Australia ODIs
Hello and welcome to Watercooler talk. That’s right – the Aussies have been white-washed paler than Steve Smith’s skin tone!
Now, if your team is bottom-eight in the AFL then you probably want some cricket-related talking points to get you through the next few weeks. Well, here are four of them for Australia’s five ODIs against Sri Lanka.
#1: An Angel(o) from Above
Talking point number one is an open-ended question: “how much can Angelo Mathews accomplish over the course of his cricket career?”
He accepted the Sri Lankan captaincy at the age of 25, and his leadership over the last eighteen months, including during the retirement of a clutch of Sri Lankan legends, has been exemplary.
And now he’s accomplished something that no other Sri Lankan captain had ever done before: beating Australia in a test series. Prior to this, the Lankas had beaten the Aussies once in a test match… in 1999!
But it’s not all good news for Angelo: his last name only has one “T”. So… yeah.
#2: Off a cliff
I don’t know if you’ve heard of Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa. It’s the world’s largest bungie jump at 216 metres. That’s a pretty big drop.
International DJ Skrillex is known for some pretty big drops… of bass, admittedly. Oh, and Herschelle Gibbs apparently dropped the 1999 World Cup! That’s a huge drop!
And whilst we’re on the topic of huge drops, Australia’s ICC test championship ranking has free-fallen from number one to number four after being s by Sri Lanka.
And Adam Voges’ test batting average, plummeting from 95.5 to 72.75. Which is… still pretty good, actually. It could definitely be worse.
What couldn’t be worse, though… is Australia’s record in the subcontinent.
#3: Cricket in binary
In previous tours, we’ve lost two-zero to Pakistan and four-zero to India during the height of the Homework Saga. That’s right – we’ve won zero (0-0-0) tests the last three times we’ve gone to the subcontinent. Somebody call an ambulance.
And here’s an incredible stat from Cricket.com.au’s Martin Smith: “Australia’s all-time record [in the subcontinent] now stands at 26 wins from 89 matches in Asia.”
But… someone on Kickstarter has invented a beach cricket bat that’s also a beer bong. So… it’s not all bad?
I’d just advise Cricket Australia to keep those beer bong bats away from Steve O’Keefe.
#4: Head’s [called] up! / Nu-Stralia?
So, who’s in for Australia for the ODIs? Well, Adam Zampa joins the team (about three weeks too late), as does Aaron Finch, James Faulkner, George Bailey, and Matthew Wade. They’ve also drafted in Travis Head from South Australia, which I don’t think is necessarily a good thing – getting a Head of themselves is exactly how Australia lost the test series!
Predictions time: I honestly expect the Aussie batsmen to handle the short-form cricket much better than the long-form stuff. However, the Sri Lankan test spinners – Herath, Perera, and Sandakan – are all back for another bite of the pie. Of all the times for Glenn Maxwell to be out of form – this one really stinks.
So if I were Steven Smith, I’d be looking at bringing in an entirely new top order, maybe with the exception of David Warner. The bowling has been fine for the Aussies, and its bolstered by Zampa’s inclusion, but the batting has had less consistency than an old man’s stool on a juice diet.
Which is probably what’ll cost the Aussies in the end, as Sri Lanka cling on to win this series three-two.
So, there are four things to chat to your dumb mates about – we’ll see you again soon as Watercooler Talk previews all things Aussie domestic cricket. Until then, roll your wrists on the late cut!