New Zealand at Sri Lanka
|Date & Time||Wednesday August 14, 2019, 12:30 AM (EDT)|
Galle International Stadium
Galle, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka +180 / New Zealand +160 / Draw +150
Sri Lanka will host New Zealand in a 2 Test match series. The first match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand is set to take place at Galle.
Sri Lanka have made some big changes to their team with experienced players like Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal returning to the side. As far as Test cricket is concerned, Sri Lanka will have some confidence after they defeated South Africa 2-0 in a series away from home. Kusal Perrera was the star performer in that series for Sri Lanka as he scored 224 runs at an average of 112. Perrera played an outstanding inning in the opening test to lead the team to an improbable win. In general, things are looking better for Sri Lankan cricket as they recently defeated Bangladesh 3-0 in an ODI series. Dimuth Karunaratne seems to be leading the team well and Sri Lanka will be optimistic as they enter this match.
Looking at New Zealand, the team enters this match following a very successful World Cup campaign where they finished second. Kane Williamson showed outstanding form as he led his team extremely well. That being said, this is an entirely different challenge for New Zealand as they are playing a Test match in subcontinental conditions. New Zealand heavily relies on their pace bowlers who are unlikely to be effective in these conditions and it is hard to see the Kiwis having enough spin resources to take 20 wickets. The batting has also looked weak against spin so it will be important for the likes of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson to show their skill and experience.
The conditions at Galle are expected to produce a pitch that will turn. It is likely that the pitch will turn from very early in the match.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Sri Lanka to win this match. Sri Lanka look to be in decent form and the team will be confident following their win against Bangladesh. The conditions are suited perfectly for Sri Lanka and I see New Zealand struggling against spin. With spin being vital in this match, I see Sri Lanka being too good.