Sri Lanka not focusing on Aust T20 line-up

Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford is expecting a tough T20 series against Australia despite the absence of Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitch Starc.

Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford insists his side's focus will not be on an Australian Twenty 20 line-up robbed of stars by overlapping schedules.

Due to a clash with the Test series in India, Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell are all absent from the squad to face Sri Lanka.

Ben Dunk, Michael Klinger, Billy Stanlake, Jyhe Richardson, Ashton Turner and Tim Paine have been thrust into contention for the three-match series against Sri Lanka, who are welcoming back pace ace Lasith Malinga.

"Obviously there's some real superstars that are not here but I think there's a lot of depth in Australia," Ford said.

"The Big Bash helps out in terms of developing players for Twenty 20 cricket. We know it will be a very good squad.

"We've tried to in recent times not worry about who the names are that much but to get out and play the ball and execute our skills as much as possible."

A congested schedule has also hampered Sri Lanka's preparation for the series with their win against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on Wednesday night their only warm-up before Friday's series opener in Melbourne.

Through different routes from Sri Lanka and South Africa, where they recently played, the squad arrived in Australia on Monday.

"In modern-day cricket you don't get an ideal build-up, it just doesn't work that way anymore," Ford said.

"To have a few more warm-up games would have been nice but it's just the way it works in international cricket.

"From (Wednesday) evening quite a lot of confidence was gained and we're just going to have to switch on come Friday night."

After Melbourne, the series switches to Geelong before wrapping up in Adelaide on Wednesday.

Source AAP

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