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New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview + Dream11

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview + Dream11

Christchurch, Melbourne, Centurion.

The first ball in Christchurch kicks off 18 hours or so of non-stop Test action. After the tourists’ excellent fight in Wellington, one can hope for a competitive battle in New Zealand’s Boxing Day Test. The toss in Test cricket is often crucial for batting first, but given how the Hagley Oval track could possibly flatten out, both teams might be really keen for a bowl to take advantage of any early movement on offer.

New Zealand will be keen for another shot with the ball. After restricting Sri Lanka to three down for not many in both innings, the Black Caps would have been left disappointed to walk away from Wellington with a draw. Despite the slightly disappointing result, New Zealand can take heart from Tom Latham’s incredible return to form, Kane Williamson’s continued dominance of Sri Lanka and Tim Southee’s wicket taking prowess. The weather is expected to be mostly fine throughout the Test, so while the second place ranking is now out of reach, New Zealand’s quest for a series win is something the weather won’t interfere with.

The washed out final day at the Basin is no reason to take credit away from Sri Lanka. After failing to grasp the key moments in their recent home series against England, Sri Lanka displayed the fight and determination necessary for them to compete on their tours of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis batted for the whole of day four against a testing Black Caps’ attack, and those two, along with the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal, will be key again for Sri Lanka to end this series with their heads held high.

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Key to a New Zealand win

New Zealand got right into the Sri Lankan batting order twice in Wellington, only to be nullified twice. Can New Zealand get the better of Sri Lanka’s top order again, and this time carry on the job? The Hagley Oval pitch is one that typically offers seam and carry right throughout the Test, but, the importance of Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme in backing up Trent Boult and Tim Southee will be crucial to the result. Of course, Boult and Southee at the top will be most crucial, too.

Without a doubt, one area New Zealand have a clear advantage is their batsmen over Sri Lanka’s bowlers. Sri Lanka have struggled for penetration in their last few tours of New Zealand, and in Wellington, all of New Zealand’s top five, led by Tom Latham, got stuck in. New Zealand will need the same in Christchurch if they are to take out the series.

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Key to a Sri Lanka win

It is important for Sri Lanka to enter this Test with a winning mentality. Sri Lanka’s batsmen showed fight in Wellington, which can give them hope of going to the limited overs series with at least a drawn series. However, if they are to win, the bowlers need to offer more. If the pitch does offer some assistance to Sri Lanka, can the likes of Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kamara take advantage? If the pitch begins to flatten out, can the tourists find ways to trouble New Zealand? Will they be able to dismiss the likes of Tom Latham and Kane Williamson early to get a foothold into the New Zealand innings?

Also, can the top order provide greater resistance? Sri Lanka were reduced to 9/3 and 13/3 respectively, and were bailed out by excellent efforts by Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella throughout the Test. Here, Sri Lanka need a solid team effort, rather than reliance on a few players to deliver. Will it be the case?

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Predicted Playing XIs

New Zealand will likely stick with the same XI. A possible change is Matt Henry coming in for Neil Wagner.

New Zealand: 1. Jeet Raval, 2. Tom Latham, 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. BJ Watling (wk), 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Ajaz Patel, 10. Neil Wagner/Matt Henry, 11. Trent Boult

Dushmantha Chameera could come in for Kasun Raijitha, who was wicketless in Wellington.

Sri Lanka: 1. Dimuth Karunaratne, 2. Danushka Gunathilaka, 3. Dhananjaya de Silva, 4. Kusal Mendis, 5. Dinesh Chandimal, 6. Angelo Mathews, 7. Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8. Dilruwan Perera, 9. Suranga Lakmal, 10. Dushmantha Chameera/Kasun Rajitha, 11. Lahiru Kamara

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Dream11

Will New Zealand’s top order have another good outing? Below are my two Dream11 options, with a few pointers.

Team 1:

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview + Dream11 Cricket Blog Cricket Preview CricBlog
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview + Dream11: Team 1

Team 2 (preferred):

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview + Dream11 Cricket Blog Cricket Preview CricBlog
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview + Dream11: Team 2
  • Niroshan Dickwella is more likely to get an opportunity to bat long.
  • Matt Henry is a chance of playing, and will be a fine option given his superb county season with Kent. However, he is said to be unlikely.
  • Angelo Mathews and Dimuth Karunaratne are two of Sri Lanka’s most reliable players.
  • Kane Williamson has a magnificent record against Sri Lanka. Tom Latham is in magnificent touch after his huge double hundred.
  • Among batsmen with at least 400 runs in 2018, Kane Williamson (66.77) and Henry Nicholls (61.87) have the best averages.
  • Spinner Ajaz Patel might enjoy the extra bounce at Hagley Oval.
  • Tim Southee is my VC. Trent Boult is one to persist with, given the greenish pitch on offer.




Stats and Facts

  • New Zealand are on track for a fourth consecutive Test series win. If they win at Hagley Oval, it will be the first time ever that they achieve such a feat.
  • Kusal Mendis needs 59 runs to become the second after Virat Kohli to make 1,000 Test runs in 2018.
  • Lahiru Kumara averages 26.66 with the ball in Tests in 2018.
  • Sri Lanka’s last Test win in New Zealand came in 2006.

Prediction

Sri Lanka’s magnificent fighting effort in Wellington has set the scene for the Boxing Day Test in Christchurch.

However, New Zealand look to have more resources to do well in these conditions, and I will back them to win this and secure their fourth straight Test series victory.

Thanks for reading!




New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview + Dream11

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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