Man of the Match: Dimuth Karunaratne
Host Sri Lanka will be looking to start on a good note against New Zealand!
Our Prediction is Sri Lanka to win
Host Sri Lanka will be looking to start their home season on a good note when they take on New Zealand in the opening game of the Test series in Galle on Wednesday. Sri Lanka Captain Dimuth Karunaratne will be hoping that Sri Lanka can deliver a good show with bat and ball in this game. The senior players will need to come to the party for Sri Lanka to beat New Zealand in this contest.
On the other hand, New Zealand will be looking to do well against Sri Lanka in this opening game of the series. Captain Kane Williamson will be keen to make sure that side is well prepared for Sri Lanka in this game.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne has shown exceptional leadership skills in this format as the side managed to win their maiden Test series in South Africa. He will be hoping that side can build on that success and continue their winning momentum against New Zealand in this two-match Test series. In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne, Oshada Fernando and Kusal Perera to do the bulk of the scoring. Wicket-keeper batsman Kusal Perera was the standout performer for Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series played in South Africa.
He produced a spectacular 153 not out to single-handedly win the game for Sri Lanka at Kingsmead in Durban. Dimuth Karunratne has been an experienced campaigner for the side in red-ball cricket. Left-hander will be looking to do well at the top of the innings against New Zealand. Oshada Fernando, Angelo Matthews and Kusal Mendis will need to deliver crucial scores for the side in this opening Test at Galle.
All-rounder Angelo Matthews has been experienced player in the setup and will be looking to big runs in this two-match Test series. In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the likes of Suranga Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando to make early inroads with the new ball. Left-arm quick Vishwa Fernando was the standout for Sri Lanka with the ball against South Africa. He will be keen to continue his good form with the ball in this home series. Left-arm orthodox spinner Lasith Embuldeniya and off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva will be two prominent spinners for this game.
Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thiramanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Oshada Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya.
Niroshan Dickwella, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis , Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lahiru Kumara
Kane Williamson-led unit will be looking to adjust to the subcontinent conditions. New Zealand bowlers toiled hard against Sri Lanka Board President XI in a warm-up game that ended in a draw. In the batting department, the side will be relying on Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Ross Taylor to do the bulk of the scoring. Since August 2017, Williamson accumulated 1023 runs in 11 matches at an average of 68.20 with three centuries to his name. Besides Williamson, Taylor and Nicholls have been bankable performers for the side in Test arena for the past two years. Tom Latham has also produced decent numbers with the bat in red-ball cricket and scored 904 runs in 11 matches at an average of 56.50 with three centuries to his name.
Wicketkeeper BJ Watling has been the first-choice keeper for the side in the five-day format. He will be looking to deliver his best behind the stumps. All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme is a player that offers value with bat and ball. He will be looking to put incredible performances for the side in this series.
In the bowling department, the onus will be on the likes of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner to produce crucial breakthroughs with the new ball. The bowling trio has been a successful combination for New Zealand in Test cricket for the past couple of years. Todd Astle, Ajaz Patel, and William Somerville will fight it out for a place in the playing XI.
Kane Williamson (captain), Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk), Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Todd Astle
Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Ajaz Patel, Jeet Raval, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, KS Williamson, William Somerville, Ross Taylor, TG Southee
The wicket prepared for the game might some have something for the bowlers with the new-ball. Expect spinners to play a big role in the outcome of this game. The weather forecast for the game to be played on Wednesday is expected to have early showers in the morning.
The side that wins the toss would be looking to bat first and put runs on the board. Galle International Stadium in Galle is going to host the opening Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. The home side lost their last game played against England at Galle. Also, Sri Lank have an excellent head-to-head record against New Zealand at Galle.
After analyzing both the squads, Sri Lanka will be outright favorites to win this opening Test against Sri Lanka. Dimuth Karunaratne and co. will have a slight advantage as they are playing in their home conditions. The weather forecast for the game to be played on Wednesday is expected to have showers early in the morning.
On the other hand, Kane Williamson will be hoping that the batting department can deliver something special in this game to overcome Sri Lanka in this contest. Our winning prediction for the day is: Expect Sri Lanka to beat New Zealand in this opening Test.