After losing the Test series against Sri Lanka, Australia started the ODI series brightly, winning the first match, but the Island nation came with a bang in the second game to level the series 1-1.
The five-match series is evenly poised as both teams prepare for the third ODI in Dambulla on Sunday. Tillakratne Dilshan, who announced his retirement, will be playing his final ODI in Sri Lanka colours, hence all eyes will be on the opener.
Sri Lanka bowlers performed well with the ball in both the ODI matches played so far, restricting them to 228 and 206 runs. The batsmen also played an important hand in the second ODI win, with Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews batting well. Besides Mendis and Chandimal, other batsmen also need to get into the act, and score runs in the remainder of the series.
With this match being Dilshan's final match for Sri Lanka, his team mates will hope to end the opener's career on a high presenting him a win as their gift.
Sri Lanka will need all their players to deliver in the third ODI if they are to take 2-1 lead in the series. At home, Sri Lanka are always a strong team, and they can defeat any team in the world.
Mathews' team, after their win in the second ODI, will be a confident side and will go all out to take lead. But make no mistake, Australia have all the ingredients including quality batsmen and bowlers to defeat Sri Lanka.
Regular captain Steve Smith has flown home, and David Warner will lead the team. Smith will take rest to be fresh for the South Africa series. With the left-hander as stand-in captain, Warner will hope for an inspiring performance from all his players. All-rounder James Faulkner believes Warner has got the experience to lead Australia to good performances in Sri Lanka.
"David's got lot of experience in all three formats - in IPL and BBL as well. I know one thing - that he is pretty honest, and he's going to back each and every one of us. Much as the same with Smithy - very good leaders. They let their presence be felt in the middle. I'm sure David will fill the position really well," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Faulkner as saying.
Though there is a change in guard for Australia for the remainder of the series, their objective of winning the series will not change. With Smith not available, Usman Khawaja or Shaun Marsh will feature for Australia, and they are both brilliant players, who can change the course of the game in a matter of overs.
Despite the importance of the result , much of the focus will be on stand-in captain Warner and more importantly Dilshan playing his last match. One hopes for quality cricket from both teams in Dambulla.
Where to Watch Live
Sri Lanka vs Australia 3rd ODI is set to begin at 2.30 p.m. local time (2.30 p.m. IST, 10 a.m. BST, 7 p.m. AEDT). Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India and rest of sub continent: TV: Ten 3. Live Streaming: Ten Sports Live.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports 3. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport5. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.