GALLE (Reuters) - New Zealand are likely to pick two quick bowlers and a spinner as they attempt to win their first test match in Sri Lanka since 1998.
“I haven’t seen the wicket so far today, but it’s got another day to go and pitches do change,” New Zealand captain Ross Taylor told reporters on the eve of the first test which starts on Saturday.
“Because they cover the whole ground it might look a little bit different in the morning, but that’s probably the side that will go in this next test match,” he said.
New Zealand’s bowling department, has been boosted by the presence of former Sri Lanka paceman Chaminda Vaas who is assistant fast bowling coach for the series.
“Vaas has given us an insight into how to play in Sri Lankan conditions and we have a couple of left-arm quicks who are learning a lot off him at the moment, he’s been an asset to our group so far,” said Taylor.
Taylor also expressed concern about wet weather which has affected New Zealand throughout the tour and led to three successive matches in the one-day series, which they lost 3-0, being decided using the Duckworth-Lewis method.
“Both teams are in the same boat, and the weather will probably play its part over the next two matches,” said Taylor
”You can prepare to play, and I guess switching on and off is going to be a crucial part of this game.
”Test cricket is great to play and as we’ve been here in Galle, it’s rained everyday so far in the afternoon, and we’ll have to factor that into our preparations and into the match.
“The last time we played here I don’t think there was a lot of spin, there was spin, but not excessive spin,” he added.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene thought the pitch would only aid spin bowlers in the latter stages of the match.
“The wicket will help spin bowlers only on the last two days and I hope it will be a good track for the fast bowlers too,” he said.
Having played cricket with a white ball for the past four months, Jayawardene said his team needed to adjust to playing with a red one.
“The players have had training for three days or so with the red ball and we look forward to doing well in the test match that begins tomorrow and give our best and come up with a win,” the skipper said.
The second of the two tests is due to begin in Colombo on November 25.
Editing By Alison Wildey