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16-Feb-2017 15:44:00 GMT
Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st T20I, Melbourne

Klinger set to make T20I debut at MCG

Melbourne: Veteran Western Australian batsman Michael Klinger will be making his debut against Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.

The Australian squad for this series reads like a best of the Big Bash League with Australia unable to call on any Test regulars for this series with their long format team already in India.

While we are not short on any talking points in the hosts squad the visitors have one player who has been making a headline grabbing return to international cricket, Lasith Malinga.

Malinga produced a ripper of an in-swinging yorker in his first over back in Sri Lanka colours against the Prime Minister's XI and has created ripples of excitement around a team who have had little to celebrate in recent times.

Sri Lanka beat an inexperienced Proteas team 2-1 in their T20I series last month and face a similarly under strength Australia side but where the wickets in South Africa were bizarrely suited to the visitors in that series they are unlikely to get any favours from Aussie groundsmen.

Michael Klinger is set to make his long-awaited and thoroughly deserved Australia debut and while the game will be his first at international level he is a player with vast experience in the game having made his domestic debut back in the 1998/99 season.

Australia are not short on T20 quality despite the absence of their Test team and can call on Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Moises Henriques at the top of the order.

In the bowling stakes they have the handy James Faulkner and Pat Cummins who will be supported by the enormously talented and just plain enormous Billy Stanlake as well as one of the bowlers of the BBL this season Jhye Richardson.

Australia have sent nearly all their quality spinners to India but they have left behind one of immense quality in the shorter formats in the shape of Adam Zampa.

One of the few positives to come out of Sri Lanka's visit to South Africa has been the emergence of Niroshan Dickwella as a potent top order player while stand in skipper Upul Tharanga has proved to be in top form towards the end of the trip scoring the first hundred for Sri Lanka on the tour.

This is a format that Sri Lanka can prove dangerous in with the shorter innings negating to some extent the Sri Lankan propensity to collapse in a heap when placed under pressure for prolonged periods.

Teams from

Aaron Finch (capt.), Michael Klinger, Ben Dunk, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Tim Paine (wk), Ashton Turner, James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Asela Gunaratna, Dilshan Munaweera, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Sachith Pathirana, Chamara Kapugedara, Seekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Kulasekara, Isuru Udana, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Vikum Sanjaya.

Match facts

Friday February 17, 2017
Start time 1940 local (0840 GMT)

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