Teams face altered playing conditions
The ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Pallekele will be the first played with the altered playing conditions, and Ross Taylor said it was important for his team to get used to them as fast as possible.
Under the tweaked playing conditions, there will be only two blocks of fielding restrictions: the first ten overs, when a maximum of two fielders can be placed outside the 30-yard circle, and a second block of five overs - the batting Powerplay, when three fielders are allowed outside the circle - that needs to be completed by the 40th over. The bowling Powerplay has been done away with. During non-Powerplay overs, a maximum of four fielders can be placed outside the circle, a reduction from the earlier five.
"These new rules, the players and I guess the officials will need to adjust quickly," Taylor said. "It's more a mindset change, for our batsmen. We've got to get ourselves in and keep wickets in hand, and capitalise in the last ten overs. With the new rules and the two new balls, it is difficult for whichever team does bat first, but if you can get a good total on the board, under lights it can be difficult as well."
New Zealand had one fitness concern ahead of Thursday's contest, with fast bowler Adam Milne not turning up for practice on the eve of the game. "He [Milne] has picked up a bug and been out with it for the last couple of days," Taylor said. "He won't be in consideration for this match but hopefully he comes right and he'll be in consideration for the match in Colombo."
The weather in Pallekele remained a concern after rain washed out the Twenty20 between the sides on Tuesday. New Zealand's innings was reduced to 14 overs and they struggled to 74 for 7, and Sri Lanka made 6 for 0 in two overs before the game was abandoned.
"Tomorrow is a new day. We played a little bit out there last night, it's going to be a tough wicket for the batsmen," Taylor said. "I feel sorry for the groundsman. It wasn't an ideal wicket for a Twenty20 match and it was very damp. In saying that, we didn't apply ourselves as well as we would have liked.
"They did put balls in the right areas but it was very tough to score, and it shows you what kind of wicket it was when we set them 72 in 14 overs. It would have still been a tough chase and we would have been in the match."
Considering the weather and the state of the pitch, Taylor said the toss would play an important role in the first ODI. New Zealand had lost it in the Twenty20 and were put in to bat.