Opening batsman, David Warner, has been entrusted with the responsibility of leading the team, but coach Darren Lehmann has indicated that the southpaw might be leading a revamped side. The five-match series is currently locked at 1-1 with Australia winning the first match at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo and the hosts returning the favour in the second match at the same venue.
While Shaun Marsh, who posted a fine hundred in the third Test at SSC, Colombo, is expected to replace Smith, Lehmann has also hinted at further changes as Australia seek to salvage their tour in the shorter formats of the game. Usman Khawaja, who was left out of the playing XI for the first two matches in Colombo is also a strong possibility to feature at Dambulla.
“They (Shaun Marsh and Khawaja) are quality players and we expect them to play better than we did (on Wednesday night),” Lemann said on Thursday (August 25), giving a strong hint about the possibility of the duo featuring on Sunday.
“We went with the guys who did really well in the West Indies and won that series. It’s now a case of him (Marsh) or Usman coming into the side to replace Steven (Smith) and I’m sure one of them will do really well,” Australia’s coach added.
South Australian middle-order batsman, Travis Head, showed plenty of maturity during his knock of 31 in a losing cause during the second ODI and Lehmann suggested that the southpaw might be in line for a promotion in the remaining games.
“He (Head) has played really well, the young fellow,” Lehmann said. “He looks really calm at this level,” he added.
The Australian head coach admitted that conditions have been challenging but wanted his players to find a way to counter it. “The wickets have been a little bit challenging, especially (Wednesday night) batting second was tough work. Having said that, you’ve got to find a way. Whatever side we come up with, we expect them to do well. We’ll just have a look at the batting order, as we normally do,” he signed off.