Fantasy Cricket: Test Series – Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Test I Preview


After the heartbreak of ICC World Cup where they won hearts and lost the final, New Zealand get back to cricket. It is time for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle starting from Wednesday. The visitors haven’t won here since their first series in 1984. A chance to rewrite 35-year history awaits the Kiwis.

The hosts start as favourites, although this venue is predominantly a bat-first one. High scores in the first innings are the name of the game. Keep an eye on consistent scorers like Dimuth Karunaratne and Kane Williamson.

Sri Lanka Preview

The Islanders have recalled experienced Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews. Akila Dananjaya and Niroshan Dickwella are also brought back. After a successful ODI series against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka will be confident.

With the ball, Sri Lanka have a lot of options that suit these conditions. Dananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan could lead the spin attack. Lahiru Kumara and Suranga Lakmal have experience in home conditions. Keep an eye on surprise picks like Kusal Perera.

New Zealand Preview

The Kiwis had their lone preparatory game washed off because of rain. Only 66 overs of bowling was possible, with Ajaz Patel showing good form with five wickets. Off-spinner William Somerville was a tad too expensive.

Batting will be all about captain Kane Williamson. As he nears the milestone of 1,000 Test runs against Sri Lanka, the Kiwis will hope for a good performance. Ross Taylor will also be expected to be among the runs. Keep an eye on BJ Watling, whose gritty performances could be key.

Fantasy Players to Watch

Dimuth Karunaratne has been in cracking form recently. His ability to play a long innings should make him a good fantasy pick.

Kane Williamson is one of the best when it comes to playing spin. With the conditions set to favour the home spinners, expect Kane to lead the Kiwis batting.

Kusal Perera will add his weight to the Sri Lankan unit with his all-round skills. His ‘keeping points make him a good fantasy pick.

Predicted XIs

Sri Lanka: 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (C) 2 Oshada Fernando 3 Kusal Mendis 4 Kusal Perera (WK) 5 Dinesh Chandimal 6 Angelo Mathews 7 Dhananjaya de Silva 8 Akila Dananjaya 9 Lakshan Sandakan 10 Suranga Lakmal 11 Lahiru Kumara

New Zealand: 1 Tom Latham 2 Jeet Raval 3 Kane Williamson (C) 4 Ross Taylor 5 Henry Nicholls 6 BJ Watling (WK) 7 Mitchell Santner 8 Tim Southee 9 Ajaz Patel 10 Trent Boult 11 William Somerville

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