Due to the New Zealand series being cancelled, it's been a much deserved break for the Australian international cricket team, but they are back in action this Friday night as a five match T20 series against Sri Lanka gets underway.
The first game will be played from the SCG on Friday night at 7.10pm and as always, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below. Remember to check out our Cricket Tips page for regular updates throughout this series as well as comprehensive coverage of Australia's upcoming tour through Asia.
Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st T20 Betting Tips
SCG, Friday 11th February, 7.10pm (AEDT)
Predicted XI: Aaron Finch, Ben McDermott, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
The T20 world champions will play their first game in international colours since lifting the trophy a few months ago. A few key players in the likes of David Warner and Mitch Marsh will be missing from that side, but the Aussies have plenty of batting stocks in the shortest format of the moment.
Ben McDermott was the standout batsman throughout the BBL season and will likely get his chance at the top of the order for the Aussies while the other spot in the batting line-up will likely go to either Ashton Agar, Travis Head or Moises Henriques, depending on if the Aussies need another bowling option.
Starc, Hazlewood, Zampa and Cummins should start the series as the bowling quartet, but don't be surprised to see the likes of Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson both thrown into the mix at some point throughout the series.
Predicted XI: Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, ___ Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara
The majority of the squad from the T20 World Cup will be in Australia for the series with the notable exception of Kusal Perera. It's a bit difficult to know exactly how the Sri Lanks will line-up on Friday night, especially due to the revolving door of top and middle order batsman they have had in the shortest format over the past few years.
They currently do not have a single batsman ranked inside the top 25 T20 batsmen in the world, with their highest being captain Charith Asalanka. With the absence of Perera at the top of the order, look for Avishka Fernando could go back to opening, a position he has played in the past.
The bowling stocks have been more settled in recent times for teh Sri Lankans. Led by the No.1 ranked T20 bowler in the world in Wanindu Hasaranga along with some handy pace cavalry in the likes of Dushmantha Chameer, Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara.
The Aussies start as unbackable favourites here at just $1.15 to win the match. There's not a lot of avenues to find value if you like the Aussies to salute at home. They are the T20 world champions for a reason and their squad looks pretty imposing even without arguably their two best batsmen in David Warner or Mitch Marsh.
Australia should win but I'll be looking elsewhere for value on Friday night.
For Sri Lanka, I think Avishka Fernando is great value to top the runscorers. He is paying $7,00 and is listed all the way down on the 7th line of betting. If the T20 World Cup is anything to go by, he should bat at No.3 or 4 on Friday night.
Fernando Top SL Runscorer
For Australia, I love the value of Steve Smith to be the top runscorer. Smith isn't the sexy pick when it comes to international T20s but if he is playing, there is no way he should be on the 6th line of betting to top the runscorers for Australia. If they lose an early wicket, he'll be sent in to play the anchoring role and will take minimal risks as he builds an innings.
Smith Top AUS Runscorer