Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2018 | New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test | SL vs NZ Who Will Win
So, after trumping Pakistan at their own game, the Kiwis are back in their den where they will lock horns against the visiting Sri Lankans at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
This is a Test between a side that has been walloped 0-3 at home and a team that has just returned from a 2-1 overseas triumph in conditions where they were not expected to win. That the series takes place in the latters home conditions where they are yet to lose a Test series to an Asian side in almost eight years tells you who the favourites are.
New Zealand is high on confidence. Their captain, courtesy his imperious 139 in the second innings at Abu Dhabi has just breached the 900-points barrier in the Test rankings, their fast bowlers in Boult, Southee and Wagner played crucial roles at different stages of the Pakistan series, their youngsters in Ajaz Patel and Henry Nicolls have played match-defining roles against Pakistan and then there is the familiarity of home conditions.
The visitors, on the other hand, have been scrambling. A home series loss to England made the selectors lose their job, and now they find themselves in a country where they last won a Test 12 years ago. They have some sense of optimism though. Last time, Sri Lanka fielded a three-man pace attack, they blasted the Windies out to script a memorable win at Barbados. Lahiru Kumara took seventeen wickets in that series while Dushmantha Chameera already has a good tour of New Zealand under his belt, back in 2015. But, the onus will be on their senior pros in Karunaratne, Angelo Matthews, who scored a hundred in the practice match and Dinesh Chandimal to gauge the threat from the pace trio of Southee, Boult and Wagner, who have taken 252 wickets between them at home in the past five years, and set the game up for their bowlers.
Form and quality are with the hosts but they would do well not to take Sri Lanka for granted. A gripping series awaits.
New Zealand- WLWDW
Sri Lanka- WLWDW
Venue:- Basin Reserve, Wellington
When:- Saturday, December 15, 2018- December 19, 2018, 03:30 AM IST
Lahiru Thirimanne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya De Silva, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka
Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner
Here’s how both teams’ might line-up:-
Batsmen- Dimuth Karunaratne, Kushal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Danushka Gunathilaka
Wicketkeeper- Niroshan Dickwella
All-rounder- Dhanjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews
Bowlers- Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Dilruwan Perera
Batsmen- Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham
Wicket-keeper- BJ Watling
All-rounder- Colin De Grandhomme
Bowler: Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel
BJ Watling will don the wicket-keeping gloves in my Dream11 team.
Dimuth Karunaratne has a hundred in New Zealand- a 152 at Christchurch in 2015. He, along with Latham will open the batting while Kane Williamson, Angelo Matthews and Henry Nicolls, who is coming off an imperious hundred in Abu Dhabi will lead the batting.
Other Choices- Ross Taylor, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal
With the pitch expected to help the seamers, the likes of Boult, Southee and Wagner, who have taken 253 wickets between them can reap your grat Fantasy Points. However, do not count out Sri Lankan seamers. The last time Sri Lanka fielded a 3-man pace attack, they steamrolled the Windies at Barbados. The likes of Rajitha, Lakmal and Kumara could be a handful on a green Wellington track.
Disclaimer- Management can take any decision at the last moment. The SL vs NZ dream11 match predictions we are providing here is based on our research and analysis. We urge you to pick your SL vs NZ playing 11 and make your own SL vs NZ Dream11 team if you feel so. Also, hit the bell icon to never miss an important update from SL vs NZ.