The two-match Test series between the sides turned out to be quite exciting. New Zealand continued their consistent run of form and won the series (2-0). Sri Lanka on the other hand also played good cricket but failed to cash-in on the big moments. Like in the first innings of the first Test, Sri Lanka got bundled out early and were forced to follow-on. They batted extremely well in the second innings but the match had already been lost for them because of their first innings tumbling.
But now with the seven-match ODI series starting from January 11th, both sides would look to keep the Test series behind them and kick off their final phase of preparation for the World Cup.
Team Guide: New Zealand
The Kiwis have rested Tim Southee for the first two ODIs, owing in part to his heavy workload in Tests. Matt Henry has been called into the squad as cover but it looks unlikely that he’ll get a game. Ross Taylor has also been rested which gives Brendon McCullum a chance to play both his spinners Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum. Trent Boult, who last played an ODI in October 2014, will share the bowling attack alongside rookie Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenaghan.
Team Guide: Sri Lanka
It looks like Mahela Jayawardene will finally bat at his favourite position for this series as well as for the World Cup alongwith Tillakaratne Dilshan. Kusal Perera has been dropped and with Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne relatively new into the ODI frame, skipper Angelo Mathews might not risk with the opening slot. Kumar Sangakkara would look to continue his Test form in the ODIs too. Nuwan Kulasekara, who was dropped for the England ODIs, makes his way back to the squad. Kulasekara, accompanied with Dhammika Prasad and Suranga Lakmal will look to exploit the swinging conditions and get themselves ready for the main event.
Probable Playing XI for New Zealand:
Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan
Probable Playing XI for Sri Lanka:
Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardne, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Sachitra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal
Date: January 11th, 2015
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Image Courtesy: asportsnews