ICC World Cup 2019, NZ vs SL Preview: Can Sri Lanka be written off?

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (L) and Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (R)
In Match 3 of ICC World Cup 2019, Kane Williamson's New Zealand will face Sri Lanka at the Cardiff Wales Stadium on Saturday. The Black Caps reached the final four years ago for the first time after six semi-final defeats, but were defeated by Australia in Melbourne. Newly appointed captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who has returned to ODIs after four years, has been handed the responsibility of lifting a team that have lost eight of their past nine ODIs. Kane Williamson has replaced the swashbuckling Brendon McCullum as captain but the core of the team that came so close in 2015 remains. Since the last World Cup, New Zealand have risen as high as second in the world rankings but have also been beaten at home by South Africa, England and India.


Check 2019 CWC Points table here

The Kiwis start clear favourites in their opener against 1996 winners Sri Lanka, a side that has slumped to ninth in the ODI rankings and has been struggling to rise to the status they once held -- one of the most dominant sides in ODIs.

But Sri Lanka have an impressive World Cup record, with one title, two runners-up finishes and one semi-final appearance. The young side may hand some upsets and cannot be written off this early.

New Zealand Team News

New Zealand beat World Cup favourites India in their opening World Cup warm-up game before going down to the West Indies. The Black Caps were taken for plenty by the West Indies in their final warm-up match where they squandered 421 runs and eventually lost the match by 91 runs. However, they would take a lot of confidence from their first outing against India where they bundled out the Men in Blue for 179 before chasing down their total with six wickets to spare.

Ross Taylor has been in breathtaking form in recent years in the one-day game, averaging over 60 in ODIs in 2017 and more than 90 last year.

Williamson and Martin Guptill are the other dangermen in the New Zealand batting line-up while Trent Boult would leads the bowling attack with Colin de Grandhomme and Tim Southee for company. Spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner would be handy for the the captain.

Sri Lanka Team News

Sri Lanka's tournament preparations have been not been ideal as they lost both of their warm-up fixtures against South Africa and Australia. If there was any positive for Sri Lanka in those two matches, it was the half centuries hit by newly appointed skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and the wise old head of Angelo Matthews.

The 1996 champions are in dire need of motivation and captain Karunaratne himself has to inspire the unit. The left-hander, who had scored his maiden test hundred against the Black Caps in 2014, could be the glue that holds the Sri Lankan batting together. He will have the support of veteran pacer Lasith Malinga who can instil confidence into the team, both with his bowling and experience.

New Zealand Key Players: Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult

Sri Lanka Key Payers: Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews

Here are the predicted playing 11 for New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

New Zealand playing 11: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult

Sri Lanka playing 11: Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera

ICC World Cup 2019, Macth 3: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Live streaming details

Date and Day: June 1, 2019, Saturday.

Place: Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff

Time: 3:00 pm IST

The World Cup 2019 New Zealand vs Sri Lanka match live streaming will be available live on Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 in English Commentary and Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD in Hindi Commentary. The live streaming of the World Cup 2019 New Zealand vs Sri Lanka match will be available on Hotstar.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka Squads

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel