Kiwis eye top Test ranking in Sri Lanka series

  • Kiwis eye top Test ranking in Sri Lanka series

Kiwis eye top Test ranking in Sri Lanka series

Yet, this Sri Lanka side under Dimuth Karunaratne has shown considerable mental resolve in recent months, especially with their batting, and while most teams would be unsettled by the loss of a coach days before a series, not many sides are as practiced at compartmentalising such chaos as Sri Lanka.

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne said his team, written off before the South Africa tour, had gained significant confidence from that series, although that positivity has been offset by backroom problems.

Both India and New Zealand will lose two points each coming down to 111 and 109 points respectively, and there will be no change in rankings either if both the series culminate in a draw.

Looking at New Zealand, the team enters this match following a very successful World Cup campaign where they finished second. If India beat West Indies 2-0 they retain top spot, but a 1-0 win wouldn't be enough to hold off the Black Caps if they managed a 2-0 win in Sri Lanka.

The current Sri Lanka team has its share of problems, but at home can boast a fine record. New Zealand next face England (home), Australia (away) and India (home) in a tough summer of test cricket. The spin bowlers Dimuth Karunaratne has at his disposal, instead, are largely inexperienced - Akila Dananjaya, who has played only five Tests, and Lasith Embuldeniya, who has played only two, and none at home. This will be his first outing in the longer format of the game since he remodelled his action earlier this year.

Latham and Jeet Ravan combined for a patient opening stand of 64 from 160 deliveries after New Zealand won the toss and batted.

Dinesh Chandimal has not played for Sri Lanka since February.

In this case, New Zealand will easily conquer the top position while the Asian Giants will go below South Africa in the third position.

Former captain Dinesh Chandimal, who also missed out on touring South Africa, is back in the squad and the wicketkeeper's slot will be a toss up between him and Niroshan Dickwella.

If New Zealand swept Sri Lanka they could potentially be No 1 on the charts for just a week. Muttiah Muralitharan is the highest. We couldn't for example stop the flow of runs. Now we have plans to move forward and all the spinners are in good shape.

Spin to win will be the mantra in the Test series. "It's different conditions as well here".