Australia are focused on ending their one-day series against Sri Lanka on a positive note after claiming an unassailable 3-1 lead on Wednesday with a revitalising six-wicket victory.
The five-match series winds up in Pallekele on Sunday and the momentum has shifted Australia’s way after last month’s embarrassing 3-0 Test series defeat.
Australia won with 19 overs to spare on Wednesday and another victory will leave the tourists in a positive frame of mind for next week’s two-match Twenty20 series.
“To get a series win is always good and we now want to finish off on a high on Sunday,” said Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.
The Victorian is one of numerous players who arrived for the one-day series without any of the baggage from the demoralising Test campaign.
“We’ve come here with a clear game plan and I feel myself, George Bailey and a few of the guys, who have just come over for the one-dayers, have had a clear plan and it’s worked so far.
“We have played more quicks than what they (Sri Lanka) play, with a bit of variable bounce and reverse swing that has countered their spin, and the way Zamps (legspinner Adam Zampa) has backed it up has been top class.”
Australia have won the past two one-dayers since David Warner had assumed the captaincy while Sri Lanka’s fortunes have taken a dip.
The mid-series retirement of veteran Sri Lankan allrounder Tillakaratne Dilshan and a serious calf injury suffered by captain Angelo Mathews means the home side will field a youthful line-up to round out the series.
Allrounder Thisara Perera and left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan have been released from the Sri Lankan squad, with Dasun Shanaka, Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella have all come in.
It has been a low-scoring series with the pitches criticised by the Australians, and the Pallekele wicket is somewhat of an unknown quantity for the tourists.
Only once has either team passed 230 in the series and, regardless of the wicket, Australia are likely to want to bat first for the first time in the series.
“It’s definitely challenging – the wickets have been some of the toughest that you’ll get in one-day international cricket,” Wade said.
“The West Indies’ wickets we played on took spin but these have been different again.”
Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood will return to Australia after the one-day series, and both he and fellow paceman Mitchell Starc will be rested from the squad to tour South Africa later this month.