The two sides have had their preparations disrupted by heavy rain with both training cancelled on the eve of the opening match.

If Kane Williamson’s team beats Sri Lanka 2-0, they will topple No 1 India from the top of the ICC’s Test pile. New Zealand, with 109 points in Test cricket, are ranked behind leaders India on 113 points.

Becoming No 1 in Tests is a reality for New Zealand, and they are determined to get there. Their pace spearhead Trent Boult spoke before the team flew out from New Zealand about how the World Test Championship is added incentive for him and his team-mates, and last week Ross Taylor expressed his excitement to contest a format in which each Test now has more resonance.