DAMBULLA - Sri Lanka had lost key players to injury right through the Test series, but continued to thrive on dwindling resources, as the opposition appeared in slight disarray. In the ODIs something of a reversal has occurred. Australia have lost Steven Smith, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and most recently, Shaun Marsh, yet lead the series 2-1. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have made alterations to the squad three times already, and have had a retiring batsman take a veiled dig at the present captain. For this match, spin-bowling allrounder Sachith Pathirana comes into the side, replacing Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Like in the Tests though, it is at the top of Sri Lanka's innings that the hosts have lost the most ground, and where Mitchell Starc has been at his most imperious. He has taken a wicket within his first two overs in each of the three matches, in which Sri Lanka have been 45 for 2, 12 for 2 and 23 for 2. And like Australia had espoused changing theories on how to counter spin in the Test series, Sri Lanka also appear to be reshaping their strategy against Starc. "We will try to play him out safely and score off the others," captain Angelo Mathews had said ahead of the first and second ODIs. Most recently, he has advocated being "positive in Starc's first four overs."

Australia's limited-overs specialists have also steeled the middle order, and have looked more comfortable against spin than their Test counterparts. George Bailey swept and reverse-swept in his match-winning 70 on Sunday. Matthew Wade has made strong contributions through the series, and Travis Head has been involved in useful partnerships in the second and third matches. Sri Lanka have made early breakthroughs in each game too, but will want the likes of Seekkuge Prasanna and Dilruwan Perera to pose more menace through the middle overs, in support of Amila Aponso, who has easily been their bowler of the series so far.

Dilshan now out of the ODI picture, Sri Lanka must set about the tricky business of finding an opening combination for the 2019 World Cup. The man on immediate trial is Danushka Gunathilaka.

In 14 ODI innings so far, he has dazzled in patches, though has not strung together enough significant scores to embed himself in the XI. Having had his middle stump removed in Starc's first over on Sunday, he will want a half-century in this match to make his place safe.

Adam Zampa went wicketless in the first match, but has imposed himself on the series since then, taking three wickets in each of the next two matches. His straighter delivery has caused the most trouble (half of his dismissals have been lbws), but he has also beaten batsmen in the air. With 19 wickets at an average of 23.15 from 10 ODIs so far, he appears to have a bright ODI future.

Pathirana - a bowling allrounder who delivers left-arm spin - has been drafted in, but appears unlikely to play, for now. Sri Lanka may push Dhananjaya de Silva up the order to open, as he does for his club team, and push Angelo Perera into the middle order.

AUSTRALIA (PROBABLE): David Warner (capt.), Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, George Bailey, Travis Head, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, John Hastings, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon

SRI LANKA (PROBABLE): Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (capt), Angelo Perera, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso.