The first ODI of the 3-match ODI series will be played at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday, 25th March at 06:30 AM IST.
The series will have tremendous importance from the Visitors’ point of view as this will be their last chance to grab direct qualification for the ODI World Cup 2023.
The Black Caps won the two-match Test series 2-0 under the captaincy of Tim Southee, including a final ball thriller in the first game. But the test series results will not relieve skipper Tom Latham’s home side much, as they will be without the leading run-scorer, veteran batter Williamson (337 runs), and Conway, due to Indian T20 League commitments.
Red-ball skipper Tim Southee and left-handed all-rounder Michael Bracewell will also not be available for selection. This will give a strong opportunity to the SL side to get things back on track before the ODI WC which is likely to start in October 2023.
In recent ODI matches, NZ has been many steps ahead of SL on many occasions. NZ has been on a 13-match win streak in ODIs at home since 2019. Besides this, they have won their last 5 games against the Visitors.
The last time when both teams collided, the Tom Latham-led NZ side won the game by 10 wickets with 203 balls remaining. The amazing performances from Matt Henry’s 3 for 29, followed by 73 off 51 balls from opening batter Guptill, were some noticeable performances from that game.
Almost after 4 years, both sides are playing their first ODI against each other. While NZ has already qualified for the Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, SL is in the 10th spot with 77 points.
Lankan must win all games to take over WI (88 points) and SA (78 points) to secure qualification for the ODI WC. If they manage to win less than that, they must wait for the outcome of the two ODIs between the Proteas and Netherlands.
Both sides have faced each other in 99 matches in ODI. Out of these games, NZ has won 49 whereas SL have come out victorious on 41 occasions and 8 matches ended without a result.
Match: NZ vs SL, 1st ODI, Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand 2023
Date: Saturday, March 25, 2023
Time: 06:30 PM
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Pitch and Weather Report
On Eden Park in 82 ODIs, the team batting second has won the game on 46 occasions. The Host side has successfully chased 337 runs against the Aussies at this venue. The team winning the toss should bowl first. Eden Park holds a capacity of 41000 spectators and has hosted 50 Tests, 82 ODIs & 27 T20Is so far. NZ has registered the highest total (340) at this venue.
The track at this venue is a bit slow but s generally good to bat on. Anything over 280-285 will be a bit difficult to chase here. The spinners will struggle a bit here but the quicker bowlers will get some movement early on.
The maximum temperature will remain at 21°C, with a low of 14°C with 67% humidity, and a wind speed of 19 Km/hr for the first ODI Match, NZ vs SL on Mar 25. The weather in Eden Park, Auckland during the match day will remain overcast and windy and there might be some occasional showers.
NZ vs SL Squads
NZ: Tom Latham (c), Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Chad Bowes, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner and Will Young
SL: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Nuwanidu Fernando, Kusal Mendis (wk, vc), Angelo Mathews, Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya De Silva, Sahan Arachchige, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Pramod Madushan, Dilshan Madushanka, Chamika Karunaratne, Matheesha Pathirana
NZ vs SL Probable Playing XIs
NZ: Tom Latham (c), Finn Allen, Henry Nichols, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Will Young, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner, Ish Sodhi, Mark Chapman.
SL: Pathum Nisanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dunith Wellalage
The 3rd place in the ODI World rankings NZ has been on top of its game at home. NZ has not lost an ODI match in the last 4 years and has won 13 ODIs since then. Though the Black Caps will be without the key players, they have enough firepower to keep their unbeaten streak of 5 ODIs against SL to keep alive.
On the other hand, the Visitors have everything to die for the results. SL’s WC qualification depends on the outcome. But Lankan Lions’ haven’t been good in this format. Sri Lanka has lost 4 of their last 5 games, including a 317-run defeat against India. We say NZ to beat SL in the first ODI match.