Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Hambantota November 9, 2013

Depleted New Zealand depend on bowlers

49

Match facts

Sunday, November 10, 2013
Start time 1430 local (0900 GMT)

Big picture

New Zealand's limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka is the last international cricket in the country for 12 months, but even so, the series has yet to attract widespread coverage, thanks in part to the big political event in Colombo. The Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting has displaced this series into the outstations, but as a weakened, weathered New Zealand seek to overcome substantial odds, perhaps they will be glad the spin-friendly Premadasa track is not on the itinerary. 



They may also be buoyed by the track record of the Hambantota surface, where they will play their first match. Sri Lanka have not yet completely come to grips with conditions there, and as seam bowlers Adam Milne and Andrew Ellis may remember, the harder, faster attributes of that pitch can put the hosts at unease. Combine the unique surface with the unpredictability caused by the strong gusts that blow through the stadium most evenings, and Hambantota shapes as the most likely venue for an upset out of any Sri Lankan ODI ground.

Without three of their top batsmen, though, New Zealand must feel their success in the series will likely rest on the efficacy of the attack. Sri Lanka's batting seems more settled, but Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne still haven't made the middle-order spots their own, and the second opener's position is up for grabs.

Although it is often said early wickets against Sri Lanka are more valuable than good starts against other teams, opponents often underestimate the difficulty of removing Sri Lanka's three senior batsmen from the crease. It is a rare match in which Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara all fail, but perhaps New Zealand will be happy at the thought that on the odd occasions when they do, Sri Lanka rarely manage a fighting total.

The other great challenge for the visitors will be that bugbear of all non-Asian teams in the subcontinent, a problem that is magnified in Sri Lanka. Ajantha Mendis excels against batsmen who have not played him, and this New Zealand line-up is packed with fresh meat. Sachithra Senanayake possesses fewer variations, but nevertheless, requires decoding, and even Dilshan's offspin has grown increasingly menacing in recent series.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)


Sri Lanka: WWLWW
New Zealand: LLLLW



In the spotlight

Last time Sri Lanka played in Hambantota, in two Twenty20s, Nuwan Kulasekara used the breeze to move the ball appreciably in to the right-handers. Lasith Malinga's inconsistency over the past 18 months has meant Kulasekara has become one of Sri Lanka's most dependable players, and this year, he has also become a penetrative threat, particularly in the early overs. If the wind blows again, New Zealand's batsmen may be in for a testing spell long before the spinners come on.

Being on the end of any whitewash is dispiriting enough, but first-time captain Kyle Mills has the task of motivating players who have just been thrashed in a series they were expected to win, in Bangladesh. Moreover, he is also the senior man in a green attack, and cannot allow himself a bad day with the ball, if New Zealand are to push Sri Lanka. How he manages the field, his bowlers and the added personal pressure will go some way to determining his team's fate.

Pitch and conditions

Rain may prove the definitive factor in this match, with Hambantota's forecast suggesting storms could interrupt play in the afternoon - even if predictions for this part of the country are notoriously unreliable. During last year's November series between these teams, the side bowling second were at a significant disadvantage in rain-affected matches, as they had to contend with a wet ball. If the skies seem heavy, perhaps captains will be tempted to bowl first, despite the state of the pitch.

Team news

Kusal Perera's poor run as opener ended with him being dropped in the West Indies, but he is in the reckoning again - only he has to fight off a challenge from Dimuth Karunaratne, who has a far heftier List A and first-class record in the past few months. Karunaratne is the favourite to play in the first match, having opened for the Board XI in the practice matches this week.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Dinesh Chandimal, 7 Angelo Mathews (capt), 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Thisara Perera/Sachithra Senanayake 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis

New Zealand have several choices to make, and it is difficult to discern which direction they will swing. Andrew Ellis, Luke Ronchi and Neil Broome have not proved consistent at international level, but perhaps when so much inexperience abounds in the squad, they may force one or two younger players out of the XI, simply by the weight of their domestic records.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Anton Devcich, 2 Hamish Rutherford, 3 Grant Elliott, 4 Tom Latham, 5 Colin Munro/Andrew Ellis, 6 Corey Anderson, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 James Neesham, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Kyle Mills (capt) 11 Adam Milne/ Mitchell McClenaghan

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand's last ODI win was against Sri Lanka, during the Champions Trophy in June.
  • Kumar Sangakkara has 883 ODI runs this year, at an average of 73.58 and a strike rate of 92.07
  • Sri Lanka has won three and lost two matches against top-eight opposition in Hambantota

Quotes

"If we play good cricket, if we play positive cricket, we will go up in the rankings. We're not worried over rankings but we want to be positive and win."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews

"At the age of 34, I'd pretty much closed the door on anticipating the captaincy. But it's been a challenge I've enjoyed so far, and it will be a greater challenge to come over here and lead a group in which I have absolute belief in."
New Zealand's stand-in captain Kyle Mills

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SandipManjrekar on November 10, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Thisara Perera is still not good enough for SL think tank to make it into final 11. Ironical part is that whoever replacement player being not able to stand on the ground for few minutes. Whether it is kusal-mangal or Dimuth. Out for first ball golden duck against Kyle mills.I am sure Thisu would be another historical iron man for islanders at the expense of 3 seniors.

  • Shaun_wick on November 10, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    What about test Thisara Perera as a opener. I guess he will be a dominant player all time

  • on November 10, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    I fully agree with Mr Ranil Fernando's comments. We should always present the best eleven always. Let the young players mature but not at the expense of better players.

  • TNAmarkFromIndia on November 10, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Dilshan, Jayawardene and Sangakkara may have to play international cricket into their 50's. None of the youngsters perform well enough for them.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on November 10, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    @Ranil Fernando and yohan df. if not good youngsters there then y SL national team defeat from A team in d 2nd practice match. that match all 3 seniors played with Malinga. then how SL A defeat NZ A 2-1 in ODI series and 1-0 in unofficial test series. then how SL A defeat Keyna 5-1 in T2O.

  • on November 10, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    kulashekhra and parera both are honestly average bowler...

  • hokeypokey on November 10, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Goodluck to the young fellas tonite, I hope you can pull through with a surprise win..but to tour sri lanka without any experience to learn off is crazy stuff , bordering on weird...and to hear people calling the blackcaps a 2nd 11 touring sri lanka is just embarrassing when the team could be stronger..if we were in the top 5 in the world maybe..but we are 8...just., Who knows, they are the blackcaps and they do surprise the world now and then.goodluck boys

  • on November 10, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Resting seniors ........ how many times have we tried this ...... It's their final years and let them play. There are 7 places for others and look at what our youngsters did in recent past. They should learn to take a responsibility and for that they need to play with Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan. I hate this stupid youngster scenario. If one can play better he should be given the opportunity to play irrespective of his age.

  • on November 10, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    I predict a 2-1 in favour of kiwi!! go kiwi go! we are all with you! thrash Lankans in their own den!

  • yohandf on November 10, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    Here we could find people asking 3 seniors to be rested in this series .. some are asking for retirement . but resting will not stop them ageing . so irrespective of whether they play or not , they will have retire after couple of years . Not having competitive youngsters is not their problem . And Sri lanka has not got hectic schedule these days . So let 2 of them play each game allowing a youngster . Thisara should be at no 7 and Mathews should play as a batsmen at 6 . So my xi for 1st game - Dilshan , Dimuth , Sanga , Chandi , Thiri , Angi ,Thisara , Kule ,Sachi , Mali .Mendis .2nd game - Mahela for Sanga , If both games are won - 3rd game xi - Dimuth , Kusal ,Thiri , Chandi , Angi , Angelo Perera , Chaturanga Silva , Thisara , Sachitra , Lakmal , Mendis . GO SRI LANKA GO .

  • SandipManjrekar on November 10, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Thisara Perera is still not good enough for SL think tank to make it into final 11. Ironical part is that whoever replacement player being not able to stand on the ground for few minutes. Whether it is kusal-mangal or Dimuth. Out for first ball golden duck against Kyle mills.I am sure Thisu would be another historical iron man for islanders at the expense of 3 seniors.

  • Shaun_wick on November 10, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    What about test Thisara Perera as a opener. I guess he will be a dominant player all time

  • on November 10, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    I fully agree with Mr Ranil Fernando's comments. We should always present the best eleven always. Let the young players mature but not at the expense of better players.

  • TNAmarkFromIndia on November 10, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Dilshan, Jayawardene and Sangakkara may have to play international cricket into their 50's. None of the youngsters perform well enough for them.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on November 10, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    @Ranil Fernando and yohan df. if not good youngsters there then y SL national team defeat from A team in d 2nd practice match. that match all 3 seniors played with Malinga. then how SL A defeat NZ A 2-1 in ODI series and 1-0 in unofficial test series. then how SL A defeat Keyna 5-1 in T2O.

  • on November 10, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    kulashekhra and parera both are honestly average bowler...

  • hokeypokey on November 10, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Goodluck to the young fellas tonite, I hope you can pull through with a surprise win..but to tour sri lanka without any experience to learn off is crazy stuff , bordering on weird...and to hear people calling the blackcaps a 2nd 11 touring sri lanka is just embarrassing when the team could be stronger..if we were in the top 5 in the world maybe..but we are 8...just., Who knows, they are the blackcaps and they do surprise the world now and then.goodluck boys

  • on November 10, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Resting seniors ........ how many times have we tried this ...... It's their final years and let them play. There are 7 places for others and look at what our youngsters did in recent past. They should learn to take a responsibility and for that they need to play with Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan. I hate this stupid youngster scenario. If one can play better he should be given the opportunity to play irrespective of his age.

  • on November 10, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    I predict a 2-1 in favour of kiwi!! go kiwi go! we are all with you! thrash Lankans in their own den!

  • yohandf on November 10, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    Here we could find people asking 3 seniors to be rested in this series .. some are asking for retirement . but resting will not stop them ageing . so irrespective of whether they play or not , they will have retire after couple of years . Not having competitive youngsters is not their problem . And Sri lanka has not got hectic schedule these days . So let 2 of them play each game allowing a youngster . Thisara should be at no 7 and Mathews should play as a batsmen at 6 . So my xi for 1st game - Dilshan , Dimuth , Sanga , Chandi , Thiri , Angi ,Thisara , Kule ,Sachi , Mali .Mendis .2nd game - Mahela for Sanga , If both games are won - 3rd game xi - Dimuth , Kusal ,Thiri , Chandi , Angi , Angelo Perera , Chaturanga Silva , Thisara , Sachitra , Lakmal , Mendis . GO SRI LANKA GO .

  • Bangladesh_Forever on November 10, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    Wind blows or not, Kulasekara is deadly enough bowler against any team. Skippering this NZ team is an extra pressure for Mills.

  • kiwicricketnut on November 10, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Most people seem to think this is a nothing series but as a fan there are some points of interest for me even if we look like getting a hiding, i want to see if munro can carry on his destructive form against a better attack, i want to see if milne can step up, our two new allrounders really look the goods so the continuation of their development is of huge interest to me, tom latham has been a passenger for what seems an age, he should be selected for every game on this tour and is his chance to cement a spot, if mccullum is giving up the gloves then latham has to out perform ronchi with the bat because ronchi is the better keeper. They are just some of the reasons why i'll watch this so called nothing tour, no games involving your national team is a nothing game, there are some important little battles going on out there.

  • on November 10, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    will neesham play..?? will perera play today..??

  • SixFourOut on November 10, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Good to see the Kiwis playing Rutherford. Even though he averages less than 18 in domestic cricket and less than FOUR in international cricket, he clearly has some or possibly no talent.

  • on November 10, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Go kyle mills. New zealand will win definitely

  • on November 10, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    if not srilanka select thisara perera to final 11 iam cheering for nz..he is the real hero after sanga in last odi s ..but sl selectors didnt name him as best allrounder..

  • on November 10, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    plenty of fresh blood in this kiwis squad and is led by an extremely experienced competitor mills who's captaincy will be challenged appreciably by the Tamil tigers.I wish best of luck to both teams but my money's on the kiwis to pull it off which would be a tiny upset as compared to them being hammered by BD

  • on November 10, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    Guptill, Ryder, Willamson, Taylor and Mc Cullum all the main batsmen of the team are not available due to various reasons.... and poor SL is playing old lambs who are already slaughter all over the world. Time for Sri lanka Board to look out of frame and build the new team, Show door to Jaywardhene who after playing 350+ odis still averages 32 and Sangakkara and Dilshan who are also another flat track bully like there asain counterparts Sehwag, Gambhir, Hafeez, Mishah etc.

  • regofpicton on November 10, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    Hospital pass though it was, you guys have got the ball and so you will just have to run with it. Good luck. Give it heaps. Kia kaha.

  • on November 10, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    @Syed Adlou: You might be right. I want to add something, if a Bangladesh team thrash NZ in Bangladesh without Shakib, Tamim and Ashraful then a Sri Lanka team minus sanga, mahela, dilshan should also thrash NZ who are playing with a near 2nd string team.

  • on November 10, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    Sure Sanga, Dilshan and Mahela would not be a part of the same team during this series. But one of them may play in one match each.

  • rshan1994 on November 10, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    It's hard to see giving oppertunity to young guys in this match but i'd like to see Chandimal,Thiri & Angi batting before Sanga & Mahela..

  • Dhutugemunu on November 10, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    To the people who worries about playing SL big trio in this series; Logic is very clear. If you play against any side use your best team. Doesn't matter its lower ranked team (BD) or a second string team (NZ) or the current best (Ind) or a minnow (Ire).

  • Dhutugemunu on November 10, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    @ abcdef_12345; The article says that "New Zealand's limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka is the last international cricket IN THE COUNTRY for 12 months". That means in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh 2014 will be playing in Bangladesh.

  • on November 9, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    They should send Thisara Perera before Chandimal nd Tirimmana. let the guy hit some shots and get some runs. when Chandimal and Thirimanna waste the balls Thisara has no deliveries to score.

  • on November 9, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    Hats off Sanga Mahela you are the best in srilankan cricket now . But i propose managenent to take a step backward now . At least for this series make the order 3.Thirimanna 2. Chandimal 4. Mathews . Make NZ feel "there is be big guns waiting lower in the order oh my god ".

  • VKohlitheGreat on November 9, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    Oh a few of the readers here wanting to play kusal perera in team? Really? The so called jayasuriya is ought to fail in as many chances given to him. Sri Lanka are playing Lahiru Thirimanne in ODIs, lol, he is too slow even for tests. So called ironman, thisara perera is a nothing player, not even fit to be called half a slogger. I cant help but pity the dire state of sri lankan cricket.

  • on November 9, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    I think Srilanka Should play with their best players. It's n International series and they should target the number 1 test team ranking. See India they r playing 80% of their matches in India and playing with their best players.

  • yuvi_gladiator on November 9, 2013, 19:33 GMT

    should be a competitive series since SL got rid of the slow sluggish wickets and got some green tops now. But the problem for SL is that all there batsman can only play on flat tracks, so should be a close series even though this is a second string Nz side

  • senator333 on November 9, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    Its a golden opportunity for kiwis to improve their rankings as they will easily win this tour 3-0 in ODI's & 2-0 in T20's

  • SUPER_SIX on November 9, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    @priyal: kapugedara should play domestic cricket only. He hasn't done anything special to get selected to SL team.

  • on November 9, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    thiri and chandi should bat no 3,4 if sl has any plan

  • on November 9, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Why you all peaple raising the same question again and again about the trio.We always had ammo to refill our batting line up. almost a decade you mention the same question when aravinda and all were Mr aravinda and all were retiring, about the youngsters. But yet we were able to produce almost a Sir Don. Bradman of cricket (Sanga) and elegant Mahela. Its not batting. It was always about our bowling attack who now even cant take 20 wickets in a test match, Such a shame!Over the past one and half decade we were relying on our veterans Vaas. muarali,Kule and Malinga ( whose almost losing his bag of tricks due to ipl). And we were only able two pacers who can hit close to 145ks. (Malinga and inconsistent Dilhara).WHEREAUSSIE HAS ALMOST A 11 SIDE OF PACE POWLERS. Addition to that we are almost running out of spinners nowadays. So I'm not afraid of batting,it is about that Sri Lanka will force to play with 11 batsmen side due to lack a of genuine bowling attack IN THE NEr future!!!

  • British_North_America on November 9, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    What is meant by last international cricket in 12 months? What about the others series such as with Bangladesh.

  • Cricdew on November 9, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    Another avergae boosters for average players at home grounds against injury-depleted side

  • on November 9, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Look on the brightside. New Zealand youngsters will get a chance to play with experience players and it will be good for their individual growth regardless of who wins the match. Sri Lanka will go down the drain as always, they have no intention of bringing young players, all i see is politics and money in SLCB nothing else.

  • on November 9, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    if newzland bats first, may be they score good in the early overs from 10 to 20overs, but as the lankan spinners will come into play they will struggle, so can wait till 20 overs then go for lanka, and if lanka bats first, just lanka is the choice. this series is a very crucial for those who has lost early and want to do some sort of recovry.

  • on November 9, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    Surely SL should play without their 3 senior players. According to rankings and experience, if a Bangladesh team thrash NZ in Bangladesh then a Sri Lanka team minus sanga, mahela, dilshan should also thrash NZ who are playing with a near 2nd string team.

  • marlon17 on November 9, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    This is such a useless series... No boy will care who wins... + why Do they play with 3 senior players,,..? Do they need to win this series against the 2nd string f NZ side..?? ridiculous selection... they should play with youngsters..

  • on November 9, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    I don't understand the logic behind Sanga,Dilshan,Mahela Playing this series !! Already NZ are with their 2nd graded team, Why can't SL board adapt the same ?? It seems they don't have faith in their Young guns!! Also It seems like Those three mentioned above just playing for boosting their averages !! These 3 are definitely blocking the 3 youngsters places!!

  • Karnain on November 9, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    @izzidole: You seems to be not aware of the SL's tour of Zimbabwe which was cancelled due to financial issues of Zimbabwe cricket, and the up coming tour of UAE against Pakistan which includes 3 tests. By the way SLC did approach several boards including NZ when that tour of Zimbabwe was cancelled to arrange a full series but couldn't make it in the end. Yes I can understand your frustration on the Rankings NZ who are currently ranked 8th in both Tests and ODIs and in 2 days time Bangladesh will move ahead of them in ODI ranks which they richly deserve. All the best!

  • jb633 on November 9, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Completely pointless series yet again. Sri Lankan cricket is being decimated by its administrators. Cant we see sides having a full tour of Sri Lanka?

  • Blade-Runner on November 9, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Its a great and positive attitude from SLC to provide sporting wickets and long boundaries to keep the balance between bat n ball even and give visitors a fair chance, in a world where flat tracks are being produced to cover up bowling woes n boost batsmen's averages. Its truly commendable.

    Having said that, I don't really understand how Ajantha Mendis manages to keep getting selected over guys like Herath. The selectors must be facing the dilemma of choosing an opener to go with Dilly. Kusal or Dimuth ? It'd be better to go with Kusal since he's being groomed as a limited over specialist. Thisara may have to sit this one out since we've got plenty of batting down to no.8.

    My XI : 1) Kusal 2) Dilly 3) King Sanga 4) MJ 5) Lahiru 6) Chandimal 7) Mathews 8) Kula 9) Sachi 10) Slinga 11) (Why ????) A.Mendis

    I hope that rain won't spoil the party :P G'luck !!!!

  • on November 9, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Where is Kapugedera ? Please bring him back.

  • izzidole on November 9, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Nowaday's Sri Lanka seems to prefer playing only limited over cricket rather than test cricket to prevent them sliding down further in the world test cricket rankings.They also seem to prefer playing all their matches at home. Since their series whitewash against Australia at the beginning of the year they have not played a single test series the whole year so far. They somehow managed to cancel their test series against South africa and the West Indies which were scheduled to be played this year while countries like Australia, India, South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand have been playing lots of test cricket almost round the clock. The limited overs matches against a depleted NZ team is a big farce and the ICC should put a stop to the cancellation of test matches by any country in the future which obviously is to prevent sliding down in the world test cricket rankings.

  • on November 9, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Why doesnt Guptill Play Nowadays? Who can forget his 189 this year???

  • Rathan-S on November 9, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    @N.Hajan: He is there because these kiwis are very much inexperienced in the subcontinent as writer's said. appreciate dropping Tharanga, he is pathetic against pace and by the look of their lineup NZ will definitely depend on it. SL looks like an ok lineup, not sure about the new opener's slot though.

  • Cric-Aus-SL on November 9, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    Thisara Perera and Sachithra Senanayake both deserve a place in the eleven and what makes Ajantha Mendis in the probable eleven ?

  • Karnain on November 9, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Kusal Perera and Sachithra Senanayake seem to be in the form of their lives. Must be automatic choices in the first 11. Yes, Dimuth Karunaratne also in similar form, but if SL not willing to rest any of their big guns, I'm afraid he will have to wait till the 3rd match to get his chance. What about Rangana Herath? He will definitely play ahead of Ajantha Mendis.

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  • Karnain on November 9, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Kusal Perera and Sachithra Senanayake seem to be in the form of their lives. Must be automatic choices in the first 11. Yes, Dimuth Karunaratne also in similar form, but if SL not willing to rest any of their big guns, I'm afraid he will have to wait till the 3rd match to get his chance. What about Rangana Herath? He will definitely play ahead of Ajantha Mendis.

  • Cric-Aus-SL on November 9, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    Thisara Perera and Sachithra Senanayake both deserve a place in the eleven and what makes Ajantha Mendis in the probable eleven ?

  • Rathan-S on November 9, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    @N.Hajan: He is there because these kiwis are very much inexperienced in the subcontinent as writer's said. appreciate dropping Tharanga, he is pathetic against pace and by the look of their lineup NZ will definitely depend on it. SL looks like an ok lineup, not sure about the new opener's slot though.

  • on November 9, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Why doesnt Guptill Play Nowadays? Who can forget his 189 this year???

  • izzidole on November 9, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Nowaday's Sri Lanka seems to prefer playing only limited over cricket rather than test cricket to prevent them sliding down further in the world test cricket rankings.They also seem to prefer playing all their matches at home. Since their series whitewash against Australia at the beginning of the year they have not played a single test series the whole year so far. They somehow managed to cancel their test series against South africa and the West Indies which were scheduled to be played this year while countries like Australia, India, South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand have been playing lots of test cricket almost round the clock. The limited overs matches against a depleted NZ team is a big farce and the ICC should put a stop to the cancellation of test matches by any country in the future which obviously is to prevent sliding down in the world test cricket rankings.

  • on November 9, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Where is Kapugedera ? Please bring him back.

  • Blade-Runner on November 9, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Its a great and positive attitude from SLC to provide sporting wickets and long boundaries to keep the balance between bat n ball even and give visitors a fair chance, in a world where flat tracks are being produced to cover up bowling woes n boost batsmen's averages. Its truly commendable.

    Having said that, I don't really understand how Ajantha Mendis manages to keep getting selected over guys like Herath. The selectors must be facing the dilemma of choosing an opener to go with Dilly. Kusal or Dimuth ? It'd be better to go with Kusal since he's being groomed as a limited over specialist. Thisara may have to sit this one out since we've got plenty of batting down to no.8.

    My XI : 1) Kusal 2) Dilly 3) King Sanga 4) MJ 5) Lahiru 6) Chandimal 7) Mathews 8) Kula 9) Sachi 10) Slinga 11) (Why ????) A.Mendis

    I hope that rain won't spoil the party :P G'luck !!!!

  • jb633 on November 9, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Completely pointless series yet again. Sri Lankan cricket is being decimated by its administrators. Cant we see sides having a full tour of Sri Lanka?

  • Karnain on November 9, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    @izzidole: You seems to be not aware of the SL's tour of Zimbabwe which was cancelled due to financial issues of Zimbabwe cricket, and the up coming tour of UAE against Pakistan which includes 3 tests. By the way SLC did approach several boards including NZ when that tour of Zimbabwe was cancelled to arrange a full series but couldn't make it in the end. Yes I can understand your frustration on the Rankings NZ who are currently ranked 8th in both Tests and ODIs and in 2 days time Bangladesh will move ahead of them in ODI ranks which they richly deserve. All the best!

  • on November 9, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    I don't understand the logic behind Sanga,Dilshan,Mahela Playing this series !! Already NZ are with their 2nd graded team, Why can't SL board adapt the same ?? It seems they don't have faith in their Young guns!! Also It seems like Those three mentioned above just playing for boosting their averages !! These 3 are definitely blocking the 3 youngsters places!!