New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2019, 1st ODI: Preview and Predicted Playing XI
After overcoming Sri Lanka in the recently-concluded Test series, New Zealand will look to continue their dominance in the limited-overs format when they welcome the Islanders for the first ODI at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Thursday, January 3.
In their previous clash in January 2016, New Zealand got the better of the Lankans to win the ODI series. After being asked to bat first, the Kiwis scored 294 and then restricted the Asians to 258 to win the game and series 3-1.
New Zealand are coming into this game on the back of a comprehensive win in the Test series and will look to maintain the momentum.
Ross Taylor has scored the most runs for New Zealand in ODIs. The veteran has scored 7433 runs in 192 innings and one can expect him to fire in the upcoming series.
The team's batting will depend heavily on skipper Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill as well. Guptill has been their backbone in the top order and boasts a strong record at the Bay Oval, while Williamson is considered one of the best batsmen in the world.
The bowling department looks settled with the likes of Trent Boult and Matt Henry firing on all cylinders. They will also have a lot of faith in Ish Sodhi and the team will need him to stem the flow of runs in the middle overs.
Expected Playing XI
Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Tim Seifert (wk), Matt Henry, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro.
Sri Lanka will aim for a fresh start after their disappointing show in the second Test. Lasith Malinga is set to captain the side in this series and it'll be interesting to see what he can do to turn their fortunes around.
Dinesh Chandimal has scored the most runs for the team in ODIs among members of the current squad with 3586 runs. Niroshan Dickwella was amongst the leading run-getters in the previous series against England, with 192 runs, and these two along with Dasun Shanaka need to shoulder the responsibility of propelling the team towards a competitive total.
Bowling: Thisara Perera has done a decent job for Sri Lanka in ODIs, having taken 163 wickets in 136 outings. He is expected to cause problems for the New Zealand batters and get early breakthroughs.
Expect the skipper Lasith Malinga and Dhananjaya De Silva to be the other key bowlers for the side.
Expected Playing XI
Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Asela Gunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga (c)