After a disappointing home series against England, Sri Lanka will tour New Zealand in the month of December to play two Tests, three ODIs followed by one-off T20I. The first Test match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be played at the Basin Reserve Cricket Stadium in Wellington on 15th Dec 2018. The second and final game of the series will be played on Boxing Day (26th Dec)at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
Sri Lanka Captain Dinesh Chandimal missed the last two games of the two series due to an injury. He has recovered well and will lead Sri Lanka for the two-match series against New Zealand. Things don’t look good at the moment as Sri Lanka suffered a whitewash against England in home conditions. It will take something special for Sri Lanka to end their poor run in Test cricket.
On the other hand, New Zealand achieved a historic feat by winning the series against Pakistan in the UAE. Captain Kane Williamson will be delighted by the performances of players like Ajaz Patel, William Somerville, and Henry Nicholls.Williamson led the way with the bat and topped the batting charts for New Zealand on the tour with 386 runs in 6 innings at an average of 77.20.
Left-handed batsman Henry Nicholls also performed well on his first trip to UAE with 287 runs in 6 innings with one century to his name. The 27-year old has certainly cemented his place in the XI through a number of credible performances for New Zealand in Test cricket. The opening pair of Jeet Raval and Tom Latham failed to produce anything with the bat in the three-match series against Pakistan.
Raval will be under pressure after not doing much with the bat in the Test series played in the UAE. Ross Taylor also struggled to get going in the Test series and scored only 125 runs in 6 innings at an average of 20.83.
In the bowling department, the pace trio of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Colin de Grandhomme did a fantastic job for New Zealand. The bowled well throughout the series and did not allow Pakistan to score any easy runs. Off-spinner Ajaz Patel was leading wicket-taker for New Zealand with 13 scalps in 3 matches at an average of 29.61.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Matthew and Roshen Silva performed well with the bat during the home series against England. Karunaratne is certainly an in-form player for Sri Lanka at the moment and will need to contribute if Sri Lanka wants to get a positive result on the New Zealand tour.
There still question marks on Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva and wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella, who performed poorly in the three-match Test series against England. The visitors will need to make changes things have become worse by each passing month.
Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera has been a premier performer with the ball in hand. He was leading wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded Test series against England. Suranga Lakmal, Malinda Pushpakumara andNuwan Pradeep are prominent bowling options for Sri Lanka for the series.
The conclusion of the test series will see Sri Lanka play three one-day series against New Zealand. The games will be played on 3rd,5th and 8th January respectively. The first two games will be played at Mount Maunganui. The final game will be played at Nelson. The one-off T20 game between Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be played at Eden Park, Auckland.
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2018-19 Schedule
1st Test –New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Saturday, December 15, 2018, at 22:00 GMT
2nd Test – New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Wednesday, December 26, 2018, at 22:00 GMT
1st ODI –New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Thursday, January 3, 2019, at 01:00 GMT
2nd ODI –New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Saturday, January 5, 2019, at 01:00 GMT
3rd ODI –New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Tuesday, January 8, 2018, at 22:00 GMT
One-off T20 –New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Friday, January 11, 2018, at 06:00 GMT.