Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand
|Date & Time||Saturday June 1, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
New Zealand -300 / Sri Lanka +240
New Zealand will begin their 2019 ICC World Cup campaign on Saturday. They will be playing against Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
New Zealand have a very promising ODI squad and the team will be greatly boosted following their warm-up match win over India. Trent Boult was exceptional for New Zealand during the win as the swing bowler 4 wickets. Boult dismissed the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. The batting was also very solid from New Zealand as the Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both scored half-centuries. New Zealand made the final of the ICC World Cup in 2015 and that performance will give the side great confidence. Many key players such as Ross Taylor, Trent Boult, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Tim Southee were members of the 2015 World Cup squad meaning that this team should fear the pressures of this tournament.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are in a very tough situation. Many senior players have retired since the 2015 World Cup and the new generation has not been able to perform. Sri Lanka played 2 warm-up matches and were beaten on both occasions. In their last 16 ODI games, Sri Lanka have only won twice. These results have caused the Sri Lankan team to make major changes with many experienced players like Dinesh Chandimal and Akila Dananjaya not making the World Cup squad. This current team is very inexperienced and they are being led by a captain who was only given the position weeks ago.
New Zealand hosted Sri Lanka in a 3-match ODI series at the start of the year. New Zealand won the series 3-0. Ross Taylor was exceptional for New Zealand during that series as the batsman scored 281 runs.
Entering this match, New Zealand will feel optimistic while Sri Lanka will be desperate to turn things around. As far as squad talent is concerned, New Zealand are miles ahead. Sri Lanka will need a big individual performance to compete but considering their opponents, I struggle to see how that happens. New Zealand are 3-0 against Sri Lanka in 2019 and I see them winning this match also.