Allrounder Glenn Maxwell says Australia need to be more adventurous with their shot-making in a bid to break the rhythm of Sri Lanka’s pace spearhead Lasith Malinga.
Malinga (0-19 off four overs) and fellow quick Nuwan Kulasekara (1-21 off four) helped restrict Australia to just 36 runs from the final five overs of their innings of 3-137 in Saturday night’s opening Twenty20 clash at ANZ Stadium.
The home side were unable to hit out late despite having seven wickets in the shed and paid the price as Sri Lanka tallied 5-139 with seven deliveries to spare.
Seventh-ranked Australia host the second and final match of the series at the MCG on Monday night and Maxwell says the top-ranked Sri Lankans are beatable despite their daunting display of late-innings “death” bowling.
“We dropped three catches so that’s going to have to improve,” Maxwell said on Sunday.
“The batting, we’re going to have to find ways to score at the death (facing) yorkers.
“And the bowling, we’ve just got to execute a lot better at the end.”
Maxwell described his BBL Melbourne Stars’ teammate Malinga as clearly the best bowler in T20 international cricket.
“He is so difficult and he is so unique (with) the angle he comes in and the slower balls as well,” Maxwell said.
“He has amazing control and great variation.
“We have to find a way to score.
“We had seven wickets in hand at the end. We just probably needed to take a few more risks.
“We’ll see some different techniques shown.
“There won’t be the steady cricket that we probably showed last night.
“We were very good as far as hitting gaps and singles but that probably would have been more handy in the one-day team.
“The Twenty20 stuff, we’ve just got to be ahead of the game.
“Whether it be lap-shots, reverse-sweeps, backing away, charging, all those sorts of things.
“We even saw (Tillakaratne) Dilshan’s scoop. That put us on the back foot and that was an incredible shot (over the wicketkeeper’s head for six).”
Opener David Warner’s unbeaten 90 off 62 deliveries was the highlight of Australia’s innings while Aaron Finch (one) and Shaun Marsh (six) struggled to carry strong domestic T20 form onto the international stage.
Adam Voges (25 not out off 29 balls with no boundaries) has drawn criticism for failing to produce some late fireworks.
Despite some fielding lapses, one highlight in game one was Ben Laughlin’s diving catch to dismiss Dilshan.
However the seam bowler has been receiving plenty of feedback on Twitter from fans following his 19-run final over.
“We all enjoy the banter on Twitter. It’s open to everyone to give you a nice little spray,” Maxwell grinned.
Pace bowler James Faulkner is a possible inclusion for game two which could be at the expense of Laughlin.