New Zealand face Sri Lanka at Cardiff, in the second Group A game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. This is the first game of the tournament for both sides. England beat Australia by 48 runs on Saturday, in the group's other tie, to move, temporarily, into first place.
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Brendon McCullum's men enter the ICC Champions Trophy in good form, with a 2-1 series win over England in the preceding weeks. And aside from fitness worries surrounding veteran spinner Daniel Vettori and Grant Elliot, the Kiwis have a strong side in good nick.
Opener Martin Guptill has two superb centuries in his last three games and will once again be their leader up front. And Ross Taylor's 71 in the final match against England bodes well for the Kiwis as well.
There is some concern in the bowling department though, with Daniel Vettori still struggling to overcome his injury problems. Worse still, Grant Eliott joins him with a calf problem. Expect Nathan McCullum to retain his place if Vettori continues to be unavailable and Colin Munro to get a start if Eliott is declared out. Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee will be key with the new ball; the former was superb in the third match against England and will look to carry that form into Cardiff.
New Zealand were beaten by England in their most recent match - the dead rubber in the recent three-match series - but should retain a good deal of that confidence. In addition, they will know Sri Lanka have not enjoyed the best of warm-ups either, with defeats against India and West Indies.
The Lankans have an excellent squad at their disposal but an increasingly poor record in the latter stages of big tournaments will have to be corrected... and soon. In Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakarra and Tillakaratne Dilshan they have three of the most experienced and capable batsmen in the world. Lasith Malinga is one of the world's most feared fast bowlers and Sachithra Senanayake and Jeevan Mendis are top quality spinners.
Will that be enough for a first world title in over a decade? It should but there is still a lot of work to be done. Malinga needs to find form, as does his strike partner, Nuwan Kulasekara. And captain Angelo Mathews has to persuade his middle order batsmen to fire as well.
- New Zealand (most recent first): L W W L L
- Sri Lanka (most recent first): L L W W L