Wellington, December 15-19 at 03:30 AM IST
After a historic test series win against Pakistan in UAE, Black Caps are back in their den to host Sri Lanka for 2 tests, 3 ODIs and a solitary T20Is. After a dramatic 123 runs win in the third and final test at Abu Dhabi, New Zealand scripted history as it was their first away test series win against Pakistan in 49 years.
The high-flying Black Caps will host Sri Lanka at Basin Reserve, Wellington for the first test starting from December 15. A 13-member squad has been named by the hosts ahead of the first test. The visitors have named a 17-member squad with the return of Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara. Dinesh Chandimal, who missed the last two test against England will skipper the side.
Basin Reserve in Wellington has a green tinge on the wicket which is certainly going to assist pace bowlers. Coming after spin-friendly tracks in UAE, the hosts would be delighted with the conditions and with Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult in the ranks would be eager to get the ball swinging.
Azaz Patel is the only spinner named in the 13-man squad announced by the hosts. The Abu Dhabi test hero- William Somerville who returned with seven wickets in total has been left out from the squad. Both William Somerville and Ish Sodhi will play in the domestic first-class tournament till then. Meanwhile, Will Young has received his maiden call-up after stroking a century against India A in the recently concluded ODI series.
Sri Lanka has given a call-up to pacer Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara to bolster their pace attack. Both have returned to the 17-member squad announced ahead of the Wellington test. Apart from then, Lahiru Thirimanne and keeper-batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama are the other notable returnees.
Wicketkeeper- N Dickwella
Batsmen- D Gunathilaka, Kushal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (c), D Karunaratne
All-rounder- D de Silva, A Mathews
Bowlers- Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, D Perera and Nuwan Pradeep
Wicketkeeper- BJ Watling
Batsmen- Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Jeet Raval
All-rounder- C De Grandhomme
Bowler: Tim Southee, T Boult, N Wagner, A Patel
Sri Lanka- Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya De Silva, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera
New Zealand- Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Will Young, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner
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Both Watling and N Dickwella are good options for a wicketkeeper. You can go with anyone.
Fantasy pick: BJ Watling/N Dickwella
Kane Williamson and H Nicholls were the top scorers in the recently concluded Test series in UAE.
Kane Williamson – 386 runs in 6 innings || H Nicholls – 287 runs in 6 innings
D Karunaratne was the top scorer for Sri Lanka in the recently concluded test series against England
D Karunaratne – 256 runs in 6 innings || Angelo Mathews – 223 runs in 6 innings
Fantasy picks- K Williamson, H Nicholls, R Taylor, Angelo Mathews, D Karunaratne, D Chandimal
Colin de Grandhome, Dhananjay de Silva and D Gunathilaka will be the best picks in all-rounders.
Azaz Patel returned with 13 wickets against Pakistan in UAE. However, as the wicket is expected to produce swing, pace and bounce, picking pacers will be a good decision.
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