New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI
Date: 26th December 2015
Start Time: 1100AM (Local Time), 2200PM (GMT)
Series Info: Five Match ODI Series
After the 0-2 battering in the Test series, Sri Lanka will look to turn around the tables in the limited overs format. Sri Lanka are best in this format and with a series of injuries in the New Zealand camp, the visitors are definitely up for it.
For New Zealand, the Test series win should give them a good psychological advantage but the price of being complacent would be too big to pay for. It’s a five match ODI series and with a depleted ODI squad, they need to figure out how to maintain their rhythm.
New Zealand will take on Sri Lanka in the five match ODI series before playing the two-match T20i series. Both the teams meet in the opening game of the ICC World Cup. Sri Lanka enjoys a better track record in ICC tournaments.
New Zealand finds themselves in a strange vulnerable spot. Most of their key players are nursing injuries while the remaining ones are out-of-form. New Zealand will be missing the services of Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Grant Elliott, Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, depriving the hosts of batting fire-power and some good bowling options. Team New Zealand knows that time is not on their side and their players have to find ‘form’ quickly. Explosive batsman Luke Ronchi, who slammed a destructive 170 not out against Sri Lanka in January, is going through a low run. He has single digit scores to his name in 11 of his last 13 innings.
Last Results: Lost, Won, Lost, Won, Won
The Sri Lankan XI has always been unpredictable. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene’s presence is still felt in the limited overs format. With the injection of youngsters in the side, Tillakaratne Dilshan, of 39 years age, will play a critical role in the team’s batting force. Over the years he has changed his stance from being a dasher to an accumulator but he still has lot to contribute. With star bowler Lasith Malinga unavailable, their bowling department will also be under the scanner. Also, Lahiru Thirimanne will have to open in Kusal Perera’s absence.
Last Results: Won, Won, Won, Won, Lost
In the last one year, the two sides have locked horns eight times. And New Zealand have won as many as six times. So it’s no hidden fact that New Zealand will have the home and the psychological advantage with them. But the conditions are different right now. With a depleted team against a full-force Sri Lankan team, they will have to play completely out of their skins to come up with a challenge. Otherwise, its Sri Lanka’s game.
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