AUS vs SL ODI Series: The injury crisis in the Australian camp has worsened as their senior player Marcus Stoinis has been ruled out of the ODI series owing to a side strain. Marcus was part of the touring party for the T20I and ODI series. Frontline spinner Agar had also sustained an injury in the first ODI against Sri Lanka and gets out of contention for the rest of the ODIs.
Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the series by two wickets (DLS method). Stoinis suffered a side strain while chasing Sri Lanka’s target of 300 runs. The departure of Stoinis now leaves Australia without an in-form seaming all-rounder. Agar’s injury is another blow to the Aussies as the spin attack remains subtle in the subcontinent conditions.
Matthew Kunhemann has been called as a replacement for the injured Marcus Stoinis. This is Kunhemann’s maiden call for the national side as the youngster was busy playing the List A game for Australia A against Sri Lanka A at Hambantota. Kunhemann, 25, is a left-arm spinner who was the highest wicket-taker in the 2022 edition of Sheffield Shield.
Meanwhile, Agar will be replaced by Travis Head for the remainder of the series. Travis Head last played an ODI for Australia in 2021 against England at home. Another jolt to the touring party is the calf injury of batting all-rounder Mitchell Marsh who is under observation and is likely to miss the next couple of ODI’s.
Kane Richardson who was added as a cover in the ODI squad sustained a hamstring injury in the final T20I which ruled him out of the ODI series. Cameron Green could have been considered as a bowling option but his inclusion in the Test squad was given priority.
Australia’s star pacer Mitchell Starc is also struggling with his left-index finger cut and will be given rest ahead of the crucial test series. It will be interesting to find out how debutant Matthew Kunhemann performs for his side in the absence of key players of the squad.
The unavailability of Stonis & Agar will be a major setback for the Aussies who still have a long way to go in the five-match series. Australia will aim to win the further two ODI’s and seize the series. It will be important for them to find out their ideal combination of Playing XI after a debacle of injuries.
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