New Zealand eyes top Test ranking in Sri Lanka series

New Zealand are set to play their first ever match under the aegis of the two-year cycle of the championship

New Zealand are set to play their first ever match under the aegis of the two-year cycle of the championship

Kane Williamson and Dimuth Karunaratne have been chosen the captain and vice-captain of Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Predictions Team respectively.

This is the first match for both teams in the World Test Championship, and New Zealand also picked three spin bowlers expecting the Galle wicket to turn.

Also, once the toss takes place, we might modify the Dream Team as per the playing XIs.

Cricket's new Test championship began with the Ashes series between England and Australia.

The Kiwis too are carrying plenty of spin options and are likely to play two of them. Ajaz Patel was impressive in the warm-up game before the series where he took 5 wickets. "I think it will be a good wicket for the batsmen, but because we haven't been able to see the pitch properly over the last few days, we can only make those decisions about selection tomorrow morning".

With their 2-0 series win over Bangladesh in March, Williamson's side ensured second spot on the rankings for the first time along with a US$500,000 (NZ$770,000) bonus for ending the season in that position, behind India.

"They are a strong team".

This will be Sri Lanka's first Test at home since Rangana Herath's retirement. "England were playing three spinners against Sri Lanka on their successful visit there past year and the slow bowlers also dominated the previous series against South Africa", New Zealand coach Gary Stead said, leading up to the tour.

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He became an instant hero and his subsequent snubbing from the World Cup squad earned the wrath of former players.

"But between now and then. there's so much Test cricket to be played and the focus for us is definitely one game at a time, one session at a time".

"New Zealand will be tough to beat".

Tom Latham had been in great form in Tests and also notched up a double century, an unbeaten 264, against Sri Lanka.

Amidst Sri Lanka's hullabaloo over Test captains came a ray of hope in the form of Dimuth Karuraratne who led Sri Lanka to a 2-0 victory in South Africa this year. Just when it seemed as if New Zealand would end up without losing a wicket in the session, Dananjaya again turned out to be Sri Lanka's go-to-man, as the spinner trapped Nicholls in front.

Both Suranga Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando were main architects during the win in South Africa.

New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, William Somerville, Neil Wagner, Mitchell Santner, William Somerville, Tom Blundell.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (w), Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara.

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