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Finch regains fitness, Tye picks elbow injury ahead of first T20I against ruthless Sri Lanka
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Finch regains fitness, Tye picks elbow injury ahead of first T20I against ruthless Sri Lanka

Aaron Finch has regained fitness after recovering from a side strain and is set to lead Australia in the first T20I on October 27. However, frontline pacer Andrew Tye will miss the series owing to an elbow injury.

Finch was concerned about aggravating his injury while practising ahead of the limited-overs series opener. He has been keen on taking field to get the next year's World T20 preparations underway.

"I was a bit worried about throwing yesterday," Finch told reporters on Sunday in Adelaide after training.

"It didn't progress all that quickly but... the last three days it has been really good. I have got full movement ... I feel confident to go," Finch remarked.

Andrew Tye, who is regarded as a death overs specialist, has picked up an elbow injury on the eve of the first T20I and will miss out the entire series.

Finch, describing his teammate's injury, said Tye picked up the injury while throwing the ball.

"I think it was one of the first drills he did. He was a bit off balance and felt a bit of a pop in there," Finch said.

Tye's absence is not a big blow to Australia's preparation for the Sri Lanka series, considering the other quality bowlers in their ranks comprising Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Kane Richardson.

Sean Abbott from New South Wales will replace the crocked player. Sean last played for Australia in 2014 and has been constantly banging on the door of selectors. He was the second leading wicket-taker in 2018 Big Bash League (BBL) season and was slated to feature in the shorter format anytime soon.

Spotlight on Smith and Warner

The first T20I tomorrow is significant for the batting duo - Steve Smith and David Warner - who will be seen in coloured clothing following their bans after the ignominious Sandpapergate ball-tampering scandal. 

Steve enjoyed the runs rain in the Ashes and World Cup earlier this year while David Warner was in his typical attacking mode in the marquee tournament, amassing truckload of runs. Their comeback has bolstered the batting resources and made the Aussie team a potent unit ahead of the next year's T20 World Cup.

After what promises to be a mouthwatering game at Adelaide, Australia will then move to Brisbane and Melbourne to tussle with the spirited Lasith Malinga led Sri Lanka side before Pakistan reach for T20Is. 

Sri Lanka unearthed a few gems in the recently concluded T20I series in Pakistan which has made the visitor's team dynamic and has left the selectors with plenty of options to pick from. 

The exuberant rising stars grabbed the opportunity in Pakistan with both hands and put up an impressive show by routing Sarfaraz Ahmed's side with a whooping 3-0 hammering.

Can Sri Lanka young guns stun Aussies?

The players to watch out in Sri Lanka who have risen to prominence this month include Oshada Fernando, who on debut scored a 48 ball 78.  Moreover, Danushka Gunathilaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa biffed match-winning half-centuries and took the Pakistan bowlers to the cleaners. 

Dasun Shanaka relinquished the T20 captaincy for Malinga to take over the leadership role. Dasun has emerged as a potential candidate for leading the side in the years to come as under his captaincy, Sri Lanka pulled off a memorable whitewash against number one ranked Pakistan team.

The seasoned campaigners from the island, Isuru Udana and Nuwan Pradeep, bowled the nagging lines and flummoxed Pakistan batsman with their canny slow balls and searing yorkers. The former bagged seven wickets while the latter took five scalps in Sri Lanka's last T20I series.

Wanindu Hasaranga was adjudged as the man of the series, he bowled delicious leg-breaks with great control and outfoxed Sarfaraz Ahmed who bore the brunt of the criticism after the demoralising loss. 

Australian batsmen usually like pace on the ball and throwing in Hasaranga in the mix could prove to be a trump card for Malinga.

The regular members of Sri Lanka side have returned to add experience to the side. Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis opted out of Pakistan tour owing to security concerns but will take guard again tomorrow.

Malinga, who is in the twilight of his career, is still going strong in the limited-overs contest where he remains a precious commodity and is actively sought out by T20 leagues around the world. Malinga can produce rippers at the drop of a hat. The man with blonde streaks in his hair is expected to be the leader of the pace attack and step up in the nervy moments. 

Australia will be wary of what the fearless touring party is capable of and won't take them lightly. Both teams will be kicking off preparations for the all-important World Cup in Australia next year.

Squads

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (c), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha