Sri Lanka and New Zealand are hoping for some cricket as they prepare themselves for the second ODI at Kandy’s Pallekele International Stadium on Sunday.
After washouts in the one-off T20 and first ODI, Sri Lanka and New Zealand cricket authorities Friday agreed to shift the venue for the second and third one-day internationals from Colombo to Kandy.
Sri Lanka definitely go in as favourites owing to their brilliant home record but it’s actually New Zealand who want victory desperately because they need some confidence following a disastrous World T20.
Their batting on turning wickets has been unconvincing over the years and this time once again questions are being raised whether the Kiwi batsmen are good enough to surprise the hosts. Even though mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis has been ruled out of the series, the Lions still have big threats in Rangana Herath and Akila Dananjaya.
And then there are medium pacers Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara. The Kiwi batsmen led by Ross Taylor must be sweating it out ahead of the match. It’s important that senior players like Taylor, Brendon McCullum and Jacob Oram rise to the occasion.
Sri Lanka’s batting is no less impressive with the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Cleary, the Blacks Caps have a big task on their hands and they will have to play out of their skin to surprise the Lankans. But first, let’s hope there is plenty of sunshine at Pallekele tomorrow and we get to see a full game.
Sri Lanka: 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan 2 Upul Tharanga 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk) 4 Mahela Jayawardene 5 Lahiru Thirimanne 6 Angelo Mathews 7 Thisara Perera 8 Nuwan Kulasekara 9 Akila Dananjaya 10 Lasith Malinga 11 Rangana Herath
New Zealand: 1 Brendon McCullum (wk) 2 Andre Ellis 3 Rob Nicol 4 Ross Taylor (c) 5 Kane Williamson 6 BJ Watling 7 James Franklin 8 Jacob Oram 9 Tim Southee 10 Ronnie Hira 11 Nathan McCullum