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|Dhananjaya de Silva||0||5||0||0||0.00|
|Colin de Grandhomme||13.0||4||24||0||1.85|
|Colin de Grandhomme||49||53||3||3||92.45|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||15.0||0||54||2||3.60|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||1||7||0||0||14.29|
|Colin de Grandhomme||13.0||2||35||1||2.69|
After a terrific, away series against Pakistan, Kiwis return home to host Sri Lanka in tour comprising of two tests, three one-dayers, and a T20I. The Test series starts on Saturday with the first match to be played at The Basin Reserve, Wellington. Contrary to New Zealand's form, Sri Lanka are coming off three back to back home losses to England. The conditions here will differ significantly as compared to what it were like in UAE and Sri Lanka and therefore acclimatizing quickly will be the key to get an early lead in the match as well as the series.
It hasn't really been much time since the Kiwis have returned back home after their inspiring away win against Pakistan in the UAE and they're already into preparations for their opening Test against Sri Lanka. This is largely due to the difference in conditions. Unlike the dry and spin-friendly conditions at UAE, the surface will be a lot quicker and conducive to quick bowling and weather, too, is likely to be a little moist and cold.
Spinners played a crucial role in New Zealand's wins over Pakistan, but we are likely to see one of the spinners sitting out to accommodate an additional seamer. Neil Wagner has been called up to join Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Batting has done fairly well for the Kiwis with almost all batsmen being amongst the runs in the recently concluded Test series.
Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls played crucial knocks to post an unbeatable lead which Pakistan failed to chase down on a deteriorating surface. A 2-0 win here in this series will most likely push the Kiwis to the second spot in the ICC Test rankings which might not be a big motivating factor as per their coach, but starting the home season on a high will certainly be.
Jeet Raval, TWM Latham, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, TG Southee, Ajaz Patel, N Wagner, TA Boult.
Sri Lanka haven't had good time of-late even in home conditions and playing in New Zealand will be a colossal challenge for them. They suffered a rare home whitewash at the hands of Englishmen and the team will not be oozing with confidence. They haven't won a test series in New Zealand since 1995 they will be itching to rewrite history with a good show starting with the first match.
The return of Dinesh Chandimal, who was out due to an injury, will be a big boost for the Sri Lankans as it will strengthen their middle-order which was relatively ineffective in their series against England. However, the absence of Akila Dananjaya, who misses out due to an illegal bowling action, is a major setback.
In order to further strengthen their batting lineup and add some experience to the side, Lahiru Thirimanne and Sadeera Samarawickrama are both included in their squad and it will be interesting to see if they both get the chance to feature in the playing eleven. Lahiru Kumara's raw pace could come in handy in pace-friendly conditions of New Zealand and with star players absent, Sri Lanka will need the youngsters to step-up should they want to deal any damage whatsoever to the home team.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis , Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.
Batting fourth always gets difficult regardless of the surface. Although there will be assistance for the quick bowlers in the opening session of the batting, batting will get easy thereafter. Also, batting fourth always gets difficult regardless of the surface. Winning the toss and batting first will be the way to go here.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
We haven't seen a lot of venues offering assistance to pace-bowling in the recent past, but Wellington will be different in that aspect. The surface at Wellington will be conducive to quick bowlers and cool weather, too, will assist the bowlers. There are chances of rain, but it's highly unlikely that it will have a major impact on the result of the game. Batting will be easiest on the second and the third days and anything over 350 in the first innings will be a good total on this surface.
Both the teams are coming after a hectic three-match test series, but with contrasting results. The Kiwis will be rejoicing and flying high on confidence with an away series win while the home whitewash would have significantly dented the confidence of the Islanders. Sri Lanka lack experience and star quality which is so often the most vital component of doing well overseas. New Zealand, on the other hand, will be keen to start their home season on a good note and that motivation coupled with some seriously good recent performances makes them firm favorites to win the opening match of the series.
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