New Zealand may well conquer the series after the third ODI itself © Getty Images
New Zealand may well conquer the series after the third ODI itself © Getty Images

New Zealand were always going into the One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka as favourites and their claim to a series win looks all the more certain following the first two games. In the first game Sri Lanka came undone by seven wickets but the humiliation they suffered in the second game far eclipsed their disgrace of the series opener. They were brutalised by a belligerent Martin Guptill with a 30-ball 93 after the New Zealand seamers had kept them down to a mere score of 117. New Zealand won that game by 10 wickets and 250 balls to spare. LIVE SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015, 3rd ODI at Nelson

The Sri Lankans will have to dig in deep for some inspiration and battle out with clear minds if they are to keep this series alive going into the third fixture at Nelson.

New Zealand have managed to tame the Lankans in such an outstanding manner despite the absence of players like Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult which shows that Brendon McCullum is leaving the game with his team in a good shape. ALSO READ: Brendon McCullum doubtful for New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 3rd ODI

The way the first two ODIs have gone, New Zealand have absolutely nothing more to want for. They have dominated their visitors in every discipline of the game allowing them no shred of hospitality on the field.

The fielding has been up to the typical New Zealand standards. Their batsmen have devoured the Sri Lankan bowlers while their bowlers have tied down the Lankan batsmen and dismantled them. New Zealand have looked like a very well-rounded side.

Sri Lanka must seek to rebuild and although a major turnaround may seem very impossible in such a short time-frame, they could look to exploit any complacency that the Kiwis might show after two crushing triumphs.

Sri Lanka’s senior players will have to lead from the front. Tillakaratne Dilshan has failed in both games so far and that does not harbour well for the inexperienced batting line-up. The failures of captain Angelo Mathews have not helped raise the team morale either. ALSO READ: Angelo Mathews: 10-wicket loss to New Zealand in 2nd ODI embarrassing

The Sri Lanka bowlers have been dismal. In the first match they allowed the hungry Kiwi batsmen to chase down the target of 189 at over a run rate of nine and in the following match the target of 118 was blazed down at a run rate of 14.16. Such numbers leave little room for pardon, but one can’t make a definitive judgement of their form given that they were given paltry totals to defend in either game and their confidence was further pierced when the Kiwi batsmen gave charge.

The New Zealanders will have the competitive and psychological advantage hovering over them in abundance and they will look to play the same brand of cricket and force their visitors into timid submission once again because that is how they play. However, they’ll need to be wary of getting ahead of themselves.

Sri Lanka’s chances look grim against their powerful hosts as they get ready to face off in the third ODI in their fight to remain afloat in the series. New Zealand will look to drive their advantage home.

Squads:

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, George Worker, Luke Ronchi (wk), Doug Bracewell, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry (first two ODIs), Tim Southee (3rd ODI).

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Pradeep, Danushka Gunathilaka, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Sachithra Senanayake, Milinda Siriwardana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Thisara Perera.

Time: 11:00 local│22:00 GMT│03:30 IST

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)