Australia will be desperate to get back to winning ways in Melbourne as they continue a stuttering warm-up for the Ashes but Sri Lanka, 6/4 with Ladbrokes, will look to cause them more problems.
A quick look reveals they have not won an international match since early July, a Test against Pakistan in England, and since then have played 3 Tests (lost 3), 3 ODI’s (1 lost, 2 abandoned) and 1 T20 (lost 1). This hardly backs up the heavy favouratism about them, even if they are at home.
Ponting and Hauritz will not play in this one but Johnson will and Michael Hussey needs to prove his form. Shane Watson has to get some reliable performances in and he is 7/2 with Betfred to top score for the Aussies. Mitchell Johnson is a reasonable 11/4 to take the most wickets on his return (888sport).
Sri Lanka have not won a series in Australia before (they are 2/1 with Boylesports to take this one) and rarely do they win. The last time these 2 did meet in Australia, Sri Lanka actually won but it was a mere consolation. Australia should do the job but the odds are poor – the 11/10 on Australia with a -24.5 or -3 wickets handicap at Sportingbet is ambitious but attainable.