Sri Lanka v New Zealand 1st Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - Hosts offer the value

Kane Williamson (PA Images)

After a heart-breaking result in the ICC World Cup final, New Zealand get back to cricket with the first of two Tests against Sri Lanka will be played at the Galle International Stadium from Wednesday. 

This will be the first series for both teams under the new World Test Championship.

The hosts will hope to continue the rhythm from their ODI series win against Bangladesh. With most of the seniors back in the squad and a positive home record against the visitors, it will be Sri Lanka who will start this as favourites. 

However, the perfect batting conditions of Galle coupled with impending rainy conditions make draw an equally enticing option.

Sri Lanka


Former skippers Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, as well as Akila Dananjaya and Niroshan Dickwella make a comeback to the Sri Lanka side. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne remains their best batting bet, although the upsurge in form of Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera is a positive sign.

Bowling remains thin on paper, but Lahiru Kumara and Suranga Lakmal will hope to lend weight with their presence. The return of Dananjaya gives Sri Lanka teeth in the spin department, an asset in these conditions.

New Zealand


The Kiwis are on a roll in Tests, losing just once since March 2017. Even against the Sri Lankans, they have won their last three series. However, when it comes to Tests in this country, New Zealand haven’t had great success.

Their only preparation match was also washed off, leaving the Kiwis with little time to adjust. All eyes and hopes will be on Kane Williamson, as he continues to be their lynchpin with the bat. With four spinners in their squad led by the wily left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, their bowling bears an interesting look.

Match Up


Galle has been home to heavy run-scoring with the venue averaging a mammoth 488 in the first innings since the beginning of 2010. The last seven Tests here have been won by the team batting first, which could be a huge advantage. Inclement weather throws a question mark over the five days, but Sri Lanka will hope to keep the Kiwis waiting for their first win at Galle.

History & Statistics


  • Sri Lanka have lost seven of their last ten home Tests, including the last three.
  • Sri Lanka have never lost four home Tests in a row.
  • Sri Lanka have not lost at Galle against New Zealand (W3).
  • Sri Lanka have won five of their last seven Galle Tests.
  • New Zealand have lost only one Test since March 2017 (W8, D3, L1).
  • New Zealand have lost five of their last seven away Tests (W2, L5).

Key Players


Dimuth Karunaratne has scored 612 runs in his last ten Test innings at home, with five 50+ scores and one century. Another good innings from him will lay the marker for the hosts.

Kane Williamson is 32 runs away from making 1,000 Test runs against Sri Lanka, which will be his first such record. He averages 80.66 against them and has 5x50, 3x100 in 15 innings. No wonder he will be key to Kiwis chances.

Tips





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Sri Lanka v New Zealand 1st Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - Hosts offer the value

After a heart-breaking result in the ICC World Cup final, New Zealand get back to cricket with the first of two Tests against Sri Lanka will be played at the Galle International Stadium from Wednesday.

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