SI Cricket Talks
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s tour of New Zealand begins this Thursday the 9th of March 2023 with the test series. With that said, this isn’t another ordinary test series, as this series gives Sri Lanka an opportunity to enter the ICC World Test Championship finals. However, it isn’t going to be an easy task as Sri Lanka needs to win both test matches to have a chance to enter the finals in a country in which they haven’t won a test series since 1995 and a test since 2006. As a result, it is clear that Sri Lanka has their work cut off for them but they’ll know exactly what needs to be done. With that said shall we take a small preview of the series?
To begin with, it is important to know that New Zealand is knocked out of the ICC World Test Championships hence this series has more to offer for Sri Lanka as they’ve got a chance to make the ICC World Test Championship finals However, as said before it is not going to be an easy task as New Zealand has been incredibly dominant at home as their last test series defeat at home come in 2017 at the hand of South Africa and since then they haven’t lost a single series out of 11 completed home series. On the other hand, Sri Lanka might not be as dominant as New Zealand is at home or away but has had a good ICC World Test Championship this cycle sitting at third in the table. With that said, Sri Lanka will be confident that they can make the ICC World Test Championship final and will believe that they can whitewash New Zealand at home in the two test series despite their record on the island being mediocre.
In continuation, speaking of records, Sri Lanka has played New Zealand in New Zealand a total of 19 times winning only twice while losing 11 games and drawing six. Moreover, the overall record is also in favour of New Zealand with 16 wins to Sri Lanka’s nine along with 11 draws in the 36 completed test matches. However, the task at hand for Sri Lanka is hard but not impossible as some of their senior players in Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, and Dinesh Chandimal have faired well in New Zealand hence if these guys score runs, Sri Lanka will believe that the versatile bowling attack could defend those runs and win the match for Sri Lanka.
Furthermore, This series promises to be an exciting series as Sri Lanka has a golden opportunity to enter the ICC Test Championship final which they’ll have in the back of their heads hence would play aggressive cricket to go for the win. New Zealand, on the other hand, will try to keep their dominant run at home unchallenged and will definitely put up a strong fight for Sri Lanka. As a result, the matches will be won by the team who bowls the best given New Zealand is a bowler-friendly country hence whichever team is able to bowl good lines and lengths with discipline and most importantly take big wickets will win the matches. However, the batting front will be crucial for both teams to mitigate the swing and score runs for their bowlers. With that said, Sri Lanka has a versatile squad with both bat and bowl hence if Sri Lanka is required to score quick runs or chase a target quilt they have the players to do so such as Niroshan Dickwella.
Overall, this series will see Sri Lanka playing a virtual knockout test series which is set to provide good quality cricket. With that said, Sri Lanka will be eyeing a whitewash to cement their stop in the ICC World Test Championship final while New Zealand will be looking to extend their dominant run at home against Sri Lanka. However, even if Sri Lanka wins both test matches, other results for India vs Australia test series should also go in Sri Lanka’s way for them to make the final but that is something the team won’t be thinking of as they need to accomplish their mission in front of them first. So what do you think of the series? Can Sri Lanka will both test matches? Or will New Zealand stop them?
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