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|Dhananjaya de Silva||14||13||3||0||107.69|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||12.0||3||25||3||2.08|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||5||19||1||0||26.32|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||6.0||0||20||0||3.33|
It's been exactly a month since the Kiwis were left heart-broken in the World Cup final and they're back again on the International scene, this time in the longest format of the game. With Ashes going around as well along with many T20 competitions across the globe, the focus will shift towards the longest format of the game, at least a bit, when New Zealand take on Sri Lanka in the first of the two-match test series. The first test is scheduled to be played at Galle International Cricket Stadium, Galle, on Wednesday, 14th August. Both the sides are coming back to the longest format of the game after a long time and would like to resume on a winning note. Although New Zealand are slightly heavier on paper, beating Sri Lanka at their home has never been easy, and we expect a cracker of a contest between the two sides.
Sri Lanka enjoy a terrific record at home, and they have a recent 2-0 win over South Africa to brag about. However, they received a hammering at the hands of England, which might be playing at their minds. The hosts will be drawing truck-loads of confidence from their win over Proteas, but they will also be a little extra cautious that an England kind of drubbing doesn't happen again.
Sri Lanka have Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews coming back into their side which should bolster their batting lineup which appeared a little fragile against the Proteas. Dinesh Chandimal has been out of international for quite some time, from all the formats of the game, and will be itching to get back amongst the runs and prove his worth.
If there's one thing that has been a consistent characteristic of the Islanders in their past few series, it's the lack of inconsistency. While they were brilliant in their last series against the Proteas, they were smashed by the Aussies and England prior to that.
The hosts are going through a rebuilding phase, and they couldn't have a better place to resume their test campaign. Their players have played all their cricket in Sri Lanka and will be better prepared than playing at anywhere else in the world. They have the talent at their disposal, and with conditions expected to assist their spinners, they can prove to be a handful against the Kiwis who are not known to be prolific players of slower bowlers.
Dimuth Karunaratne, HDRL Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis , Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara.
New Zealand are one of the most sorted teams in international cricket and are coming into the series with plenty of good memories behind them. Not many sides in the international circuit have gotten better of Pakistan in UAE, and the Kiwis are one of those that did.
The Black Caps are one of the most balanced sides in world cricket with talent and experience available right through their lineup. Jeet Raval and Tom Latham have been in terrific form at the top in the longest format of the game, and with the likes of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor to follow in the middle order, their top-order is as good as any.
Taking cues from England's win over Sri Lanka, New Zealand have picked three spinners in their squad, and we are likely to see at least two of them in action in the first match of the series. Todd Astle and Ajaz Patel did well when the Kiwis played last time around in the longest format, and skipper Williamson will be banking on the spin duo along with Trent Boult and Neil Wagner to do that damage.
Jeet Raval, TWM Latham, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, TG Southee, W Somerville, TA Boult, Ajaz Patel.
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The first Ashes test proved to be an excellent advertisement for Test Cricket where the Aussies hammered the World Champions with considerable ease. Sri Lanka didn't have a good ODI campaign in the World Cup and a win here will do a world of good to multiply the popularity of cricket in the island nation. New Zealand, on the other hand, are one of the most settled teams in World Cricket and have lots of things going right for them. With excellent amalgamation of youth and experience in all departments of the game, coupled with a well-settled batting unit comprising of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Henry Nicholls, we think that Kiwis are well equipped to face trial by spin, and are, therefore, better placed to emerge on top in the first match of the series.
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