Sri Lankan playing XI for group stage games (New Zealand)

Here I will discuss which XI should step in to the park vs. every opponent. only in the group stages Sri Lanka will face in the World Cup. In addition I will discuss the pitch conditions and opponents weakness and strengths, and the most dangerous 5 players to watch out and how to tackle them. I will be writing a blog  about every team through out the week and publishing them. So stay tuned in. Today I talk about New Zealand black caps. 

Feb 14, 2015 Vs. New Zealand in Christchurch, Canterbury. 

From what we saw in the 1st test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand and the first ODI between the same opponents, this pitch had spongy bounce. Spinners loved their bounce and carry, pacers loved the swing, kind of like the Pallekele stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Boult and Southee had a field day with the Sri Lankan batting line up in the first innings of the 1st test, and New Zealands Mark Craig too enjoyed the turn and bounce. To be frankly honest Sri Lanka however has been a victim at this particular venue, but the way in which Sachitra Senanayake bamboozled the New Zealand batters in the first ODI of the recently concluded tour was impressive. The wicket does have favorable assistance to all batters and bowlers. Good Pitch, with the only venue consisting large boundaries in New Zealand. 

We play host New Zeland Black Caps in this ground, and they are front runners to win the world cup, best balanced team ive seen in the tournament. They have a explosive openers, strong middle order with a batsmen in Kane Williamson to anchor the whole team if they face potential top order collapse, hard hitting all rounders, and big hitting wicket keeper. Don't get me started with their bowling, they have the best new ball bowlers, more than handy spinners and decent middle overs bowlers and decent death bowlers. 

Sri Lanka, knows New Zealand batsmen's weakness is playing spin and slow bowling, they hate dot balls. Containing them with spin means frustrating them a lot, so Sri Lanka should use all the spin they have against them. They don't favor swing bowling either and Kulasekera made inroads quite often against them in the ODI sereis. Since we play them in Christchurch, it's going to be hard for them to clear the boundaries easily because their lengthy. 

Players to watch out are Brendon McCullum – He is New Zealands trump card, their weakness is they struggle against good bowling line ups if this man misfires. He has the ability to steal the match from the opponent if he bats for 25 overs, batting first or chasing. 360+ target is nothing for them to follow if this man finds his rhythm. So it's really important to nail him within the first ten. Good news for Sri Lanka is we have had the better of him, even tho he went haywire against us in Hamilton and Christchurch, we have had the lid on him, I hope Kula or Angie can nail him and send him back to the pavilion to watch like a spectator. If You think his batting is good, his fielding is extraordinary, he's like the baby of superwoman and flash. For our batsmen who loves to run each other out, piece of advice is "AVOID HIM AND MARTIN GUPTIL" . Second player to watch out is Kane Williamson, this guy is like a cancer to the opponent, he gets in and he hangs on and on and on, never gives up or give in. So spin bowling is the way Sri Lankan can slow him and frustrate him. His fielding is way more than good too. Third Player to watch out is Corey Anderson; consistent, athletic and pure New Zealand Beef. Hits it hard and very smart, he is a handy bowler too and if he is at the boundary line, might want to think twice and act fast if the batters want to get two or three runs. Fourth Player is Luke Ronchi, ever since this man changed ships from Australia to New Zealand, hes been immaculate for them. He hits it straight and big, so Lankan bowlers might want to get it Yorker length leg side full or off side very wide and full. If it is in the zone, it doesn't matter who you are he will clean you straight over your head for a maximum, while you ponder what went wrong. Fifth and last is Tim Southee, He is fast, furious and dangerous. He can get the ball swinging at 145 clicks and he does it better than Boult and Milne, and he is extra ordinary in the death overs, which makes him their go to bowler in the death over and batting power play. Sri Lankans might want to take him easy and play him cautious and target a middle overs bowler like Anderson or Elliot to feast on and score. 

It bring me to the conclusion, to introduce the line which we should send to face the Black Caps. It goes like this

1) T. M Dilshan
2) Lahiru Thirimanna
3) Kumar Sangakkara
4) Mahela Jayawardena
5) Angelo Matthews
6) Jeevan Mendis
​7) Thissara Perera
8) Nuwan Kulasekera
9) Rangana Herath
10) Sachtira Senanayake
11) Lasith Malinga

This team will tackle the black caps, Dilly and Thirimanna played well against New Zealand bowling, batting first. Kumar and Mahela is fixed at their places, Angies return will strengthened the Lankan Middle Order and his medium pacers will give bowling the edge. This team looks solid, lot of people tho might question Why Jeevan Mendis not Chandimal? Answer being, Mendis is an all rounder, Dinesh Chandimals form and His form are quite similar at the moment. Jeevans leg spinners might come handy and he is a way better fielder than Chandimal. Sri Lanka team here has the batters, the bowlers, the all rounders. Only thing they have to do is fire on all cylinders. Which im hopeful they will do. Till the next Blog which is about how to tackle Australia, I’m Sithum Samaraweera signing off.
Jaya Sri and Ayubowan.

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