Sri Lanka tour to New Zealand 2018-19 [Preview]
Sri Lanka is scheduled to tour New Zealand in the month of December to play two Test, three one-day internationals and one-off T20 game. Captain Dinesh Chandimal will have to make tough decisions going ahead with this side. The Islanders were outplayed in all three departments to suffer 3-0 whitewash at the hand of England on home soil.
On the other hand, New Zealand will tough to dislodge in their conditions. Not many teams have beaten them in their own conditions in recent times. Kane Williamson’s side is currently playing three-match Test series against Pakistan in the UAE. The side will need to improve as recent batting performances in the Test format have not been up to the mark.
Jeet Raval and Tom Latham will certainly need to put up good scores at the top of the innings. Latham has not quite at his best with the bat so far this year. He will be desperate to score runs in this home series against Sri Lanka.
Ross Taylor has looked scratchy at times this year in the Test format. He will certainly be looking to turn things around against Sri Lanka in the upcoming two-match Test series. Captain Kane Williamson has topped the batting charts for New Zealand so far this year with 371 runs in 8 innings at an average of 53 with one century to his name. He has been premier batsman for the side in red-ball cricket.
Henry Nicholls has been proved to be player rising among the ranks in the format. Left-handed batsman has scored 319 runs in 8 innings at an average of 45.57. He also put in commendable performances with the bat for the side this year.
Colin de Grandhomme has done a decent job as genuine all-rounder in the XI. Wicket-keeper batsman BJ Watling has been decent with the bat and chipped in with valuable runs for New Zealand in the format.
Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner are first-choice seamers for New Zealand in the format. Off-spinner Ajaz Patel has done well during the ongoing tour to UAE against Pakistan. Ish Sodhi hasn’t made an impact with the ball in the series. Mitchell Santner will make a return to the squad if he regains fitness for the coming home series.
On the other hand, it seems to be going all wrong for Sri Lanka at the moment. The side has been suffering from terminal decline and there seems to no end to the poor performances.
Angelo Matthews was sacked as Dinesh Chandimal was made new captain of the side for the Test format. With the change in leadership, the results have been the same as Sri Lanka suffered a whitewash against England in three-match Test series played at home.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Matthew and Roshen Silva were the only players, who showed fight and determination against England. Karunaratne seems to be in-form player for Sri Lanka this year with 647 runs in 7 matches at an average of 53.91 with one century to his name.
Dinesh Chandimal will miss two matches against England due to injury. He has done well in Test cricket so far this year with 380 runs in 5 matches at an average of 47.50. His return will certainly help Sri Lanka as they missed his experience in the middle-order against England in the three-match Test series played at home.
Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera has certainly proved himself as the number one ranked bowler for Sri Lanka in the format.
Sri Lanka will kick star their tour with two-match Test series. The first game of the series will be played on 15th December at Basin Reserve, Wellington. The second and final game will be played on the Boxing Day (26th December) at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
The conclusion of Test series will see both sides play three-match one-day series that will begin from 3rd January. The first two games will be played at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui. The third and final game will be played at Saxton Oval, Nelson.
Sri Lanka will conclude their tour with one-off T20 game that will be played at Eden Park, Auckland on 11th January.