“Everybody has a plan till they get punched within the mouf.” – Mike Tyson (quote reproduced right here within the authentic Tysonian)
Sri Lanka’s preparation for this Take a look at sequence has very practically been excellent. Earlier than the squad even assembled, most had been taking part in within the four-day Nationwide Tremendous League
, Sri Lanka’s prime first-class competitors. They then had a residential camp
on the newly-refurbished floor at Radella (roughly 1330 metres above sea stage), a venue whose situations – each by way of the local weather and the seam motion the floor affords – goal to emulate what Sri Lanka predict in New Zealand.
Within the age of intense scheduling strain from franchise tournaments, and bilateral white-ball fixtures, this was as clear an strategy to a Take a look at sequence as Sri Lanka has had in years.
However how a lot will this preparation have helped when the groups make first contact at Hagley Oval? It’s a venue at which New Zealand have decked them twice. In 2014
, New Zealand’s quicks tore by Sri Lanka to dismiss them for 138, after New Zealand had plundered 441 at a run price of over 5. In 2018
, Trent Boult and Tim Southee skittled them for 104 earlier than Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls hit large a whole lot, New Zealand establishing a lead of 659 within the second innings.
Primarily, it comes down as to whether Sri Lanka’s batters can compete within the first innings. If they’re blown away, as they’d been on the 2 earlier events, New Zealand will seemingly management the sport. Even when they do not, New Zealand may again themselves to make large floor within the again finish of the sport, having simply crushed England after being requested to observe on.
Sri Lanka’s seemingly assault can also be notably inexperienced, with Vishwa Fernando
, Kasun Rajitha
, Asitha Fernando
, and Prabath Jayasuriya
having performed 17, 13, seven, and three Checks, respectively. Sri Lanka’s likeliest path to competitiveness is for the skilled batting order (Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews have all hit tough a whole lot in New Zealand) to place up severe runs. New Zealand’s assault is maybe not what it was three years in the past, however at Hagley Oval, this stays a frightening ask.
New Zealand WLDDL (final 5 Checks, most up-to-date first)
Sri Lanka WLWLW
Eight extra runs, and Kane Williamson
will full 1000 towards Sri Lanka. The one different aspect he has reached this milestone towards is Pakistan. He has solely joined the squad on the eve of the match, having had a bereavement in his household
. However he’s recent off an excellent hundred towards England in his final outing, and no batter will fear the Sri Lanka assault greater than him.
Amongst Sri Lanka batters, Angelo Mathews
has the perfect document in New Zealand. Thanks largely to his scores on the final tour, the place he made 83, 120*, 33* and 22*, he averages 55.88 within the nation. As soon as Sri Lanka’s busiest cricketer, Mathews has largely been a Take a look at specialist over the previous two years. Final 12 months no less than, this appears to have had a constructive impact on his Take a look at batting, as he hit 615 runs at a mean of 51.25. He’s coming off a good stretch of scores too, having made a first-class century
within the first half of February.
The floor is prone to begin off inexperienced, as they typically do at this venue. In direction of the top of the match, nonetheless, it’s prone to flatten out. There’s some rain forecast for the primary two days.
New Zealand are prone to have a four-man seam assault, consisting of captain Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and possibly Matt Henry and Blair Tickner.
New Zealand (possible): 1 Tom Latham, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Henry Nicholls, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Tom Blundell (wk), 7 Michael Bracewell, 8 Tim Southee (capt), 9 Matt Henry, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Blair Tickner
Sri Lanka might think about fielding Lahiru Kumara for his tempo, however his tendency to interrupt down in Take a look at matches might sway them in the direction of the extra dependable choices of Vishwa and Asitha.
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Oshada Fernando, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Angelo Mathew, 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Niroshan Dickwella, 8 Vishwa Fernando, 9 Kasun Rajitha, 10 Prabath Jayasuriya, 11 Asitha Fernando