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October 26, 2012
New Zealand have not enjoyed much success in 2012 so far, with defeats to South Africa, West Indies and India, and a Super Eights exit from the World Twenty20. They are determined to make amends on their five-week tour of Sri Lanka, and, according to allrounder Jacob Oram, are confident of doing so.
"We are not here to lose and we are not here to just make up the [numbers], we want to win," Oram told reporters in Colombo on Friday. "If we play well we are confident that we can win. We do appreciate that Sri Lanka is a very good side in their home conditions and more than a match for us at times, but we have enough talent.
"We come with young guys who have played only a handful of matches, and experienced ones with the likes of me, Kyle Mills, Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum. We are hoping to balance our team with a bit of both. We've got to make sure the talent comes out at the right time."
Another senior man in the squad, James Franklin, said that most of his team-mates are familiar with conditions in Sri Lanka and this could come in handy. "Our last trip here was a few weeks ago [for the World T20], and the temperature and humidity hasn't changed much. We are reasonably familiar with the grounds here.
"We play the first couple of games in Pallekele, where we were based during the World T20. It might take the new guys a few days to get used to conditions, but for the majority is a bit of a groundhog day being back in Sri Lanka."
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will enter a new era with Angelo Mathews the new man at the helm in the shortest format. Mathews will face a bit of a challenge to begin with, as Sri Lanka are without two of the team's lynchpins - Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga - for the one-off Twenty20.
"The selectors wanted to give these two cricketers a rest. Their absence from the team is a big loss but with the squad I have been given, I am confident we can win," Mathews said. "Working under Mahela [Jayawardene] is a big learning curve because he is the best captain Sri Lanka has ever had. It is a privilege to be his vice-captain.
"The selectors thought that I was ready for it [the captaincy] so they gave me the job. I am excited."
The one-off Twenty20 on October 30 will be followed by five ODIs and two Test matches.
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Australia thought victory over Zimbabwe was a sure thing but they were courting trouble by underestimating their opponents