Nuwan Pradeep (right) is currently spearheading the Sri Lankan attack in the absence of the injured Dhammika Prasad © Getty Images
Nuwan Pradeep (right) is currently spearheading the Sri Lankan attack in the absence of the injured Dhammika Prasad © Getty Images

New Zealand lock horns with Sri Lanka in the second Test of the 2015-16 series at Seddon Park, Hamilton. New Zealand eased to a 122-run win in the first Test at Dunedin courtesy some excellent all-round performances. New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson announced on Thursday that his side will not mess with the winning combination and will go in with the same team that defeated Sri Lanka in the first Test. There were speculations that New Zealand might go in with may go in with an extra spinner for this game, but after a quick inspection of the pitch the Black Caps have decided otherwise. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2015-16, 2nd Test at Hamilton

The batting for Sri Lanka seems to be a bit of a worry, as none of them have gone on to make the most of their starts. Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal managed to score 84 and 83 in the first innings at Dunedin, but were unable to get a big hundred. Had one of the two kicked on, the fate of the match could have been different. The middle-order too is not looking steady. Udara Jayasundera did not have a good debut, getting dismissed for 1 and 3 in his two innings. It will, however, be harsh to drop somebody after just one match; in all likeliness Jayasundera may just retain his spot.

Sri Lanka do not have depth in their overall squad when it comes to batting, but they are not short of options with the bowlers.  They have Rangana Herath and part-time bowler Milinda Siriwardana at their disposal, so it will be interesting to see if they go in for an extra spinner. The Kiwis say that it is going to be yet another green top. In that case, going in with an extra seamer will make more sense for the visitors. Left-arm pacer Vishwa Fernando can get his Test cap here, which can add an extra dimension to the Sri Lankan pace attack. If Sri Lanka decide to do so, a batsman (Jayasundera, most likely) in this case might have to sit out.

New Zealand will want to complete a 2-0 whitewash, while Sri Lanka will want to get a win under their belt before the One-Day International (ODI) series. It will be an exciting contest. Sri Lanka will want someone in their top order to make a big century. New Zealand had Martin Guptill score big in the first innings with Williamson and Brendon McCullum chipping in with half-centuries. With their bowlers too going about things in a professional manner, New Zealand have very little to worry about going into this match.


Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Kusal Mendis, Udara Jayasundera, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Vishwa Fernando, Kaushal Silva (wk).

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling, Mark Craig, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

Time: 10:30 Local | 21:30 GMT | 03:00 IST

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)