Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2018 | New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI | NZ vs SL Who Will Win
After a 2-match Test series that New Zealand won by 1-0, the focus of both sides shifts to the ODI format of the game with both teams looking to try out new combinations ahead of the 50-over World Cup in May.
New Zealand Coach Gary Stead described the ODI series against the touring Lankans as being “about tweaking, looking at the style of play and looking at options who fit those roles as well. It’s definitely a trial period still”. Both sides have made a plethora of changes from their Test squad, with the Lankans bringing in six new faces including veteran seamer Lasith Malinga, while the BlackCaps have brought back fit-again Martin Guptill and are resting regulars Tom Latham and Colin de Granddhomme.
With de Granddhomme and Corey Anderson injured, New Zealand has roped in James Neesham and Doug Bracewell, who are rewarded for their consistent performances in the Ford Trophy while keeper-batsman Tim Siefert has the chance to impress in the absence of regular gloveman, Tom Latham. Both sides did not have a particularly good year in ODI cricket in the year gone by, but it is Sri Lanka, who are in need of an urgent revival and after enduring horrendous 24 months.
They will miss the services of ace spinner Akila Dhananjaya, who has been suspended for throwing but have bolstered their line-up with the addition of Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna, and Dasun Shanaka.
Lasith Malinga will lead the ODI outfit after missing out on a major chunk of International cricket due to fitness issues in the last 18 months.
Venue:- Bay Oval, Tauranga
Match Timing:- Thursday, January 03, 2018, 06:30 AM IST
New Zealand:- LWLWL
Sri Lanka:- WLLLL
Won by NZ- 8
Won by SL-3
Here’s how both sides’ might line-up for tomorrow’s game:-
Batsmen:- Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicolls
Wicket-Keeper- Tim Siefert
All-rounder- Jimmy Neesham, Colin Munro [D:-Doug Bracwell]
Bowlers- Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry/Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi
Batsmen:- Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka
Wicket-Keeper- Niroshan Dickwella
All-rounder- Thisara Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva
Bowlers- Lasith Malinga, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera/Seekuge Prasanna
Punting on Fast bowlers
The average first innings score at Mount Maunganui is 247 while the teams batting first have won three of the five matches played at the venue. Matt Henry claimed 5-40 the last time he played at the venue against Sri Lanka back in 2016, the same match where Trent Boult claimed three. In fact, eight of the ten best bowling figures at the venue have been claimed by the seamers. Thus, picking a fast bowler and making them as captain/vice-captain of your Grand League team can help you reap great rewards.
Pick More All-rounders
Both sides have got quality all-rounders in their line-up who can sway the momentum of the game in their favor with both bat and ball. The likes of Neesham, who had a stellar Ford Trophy campaign or Thisara Perera are prudent picks to be the captain/vice-captain of your Grand League team.
Banking on the Unknowns
We often bank on the superstar names to reap us great rewards in our Dream11 team. But, generally, it is the unknown cricketers who go on to define the narrative of the game. The likes of Tim Siefert, Kusal Perera, James Neesham, Nicolls or Gunaratne can be valuable bets for your Grand League team.
Punt on the underdog
In a white-ball game, it is often the side, irrespective of reputation, that plays well on a given day comes out trumps. Sri Lanka has been in disastrous form in the past two years in ODI cricket and against the Kiwis, they have won just three of the eleven matches since 2015. Hence, picking more players from Sri Lanka and backing the underdogs could be a safe bet for your Grand League team.
Disclaimer:- This NZ vs SL Dream11 prediction is high-risk but may you reap rewards if some assumptions come off.