World Cup 2015 Match 1 Preview: New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka Group A

World Cup 2015 Match 1 Preview: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Group A

Date: Feb 14, 2015  Time: 0330 IST
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch

World Cup 2015 Match 1 Preview: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Group A: The beautiful Hagley Oval in Christchurch will mark the beginning of the World cup 2015 on Saturday, with the match between Group A teams SriLanka and the hosts New Zealand.

Both the teams come fresh off a series against each other that was held in New Zealand. New Zealand won the series 4-2, thanks to the performances of Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Luke Ronchi and the efforts of their bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan and Trent Boult.

Whereas for the Lankans, the series showed that the veterans Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan still hold the Sri Lankan batting together, while the young are still to rise to the occasion.

Sri Lanka

Srilanka has been the bridesmaid for 2 occasions now, losing to Australia in the 2007 World cup finals and India in the 2011 World cup final. Though they broke the jinx in the World T20 final in 2014 by defeating India in the finals, they know they have to work extra hard to cross the finish lines as the winner.

The strength of their squad is the experience they have in the batting department with the names of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Also the experience of Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga (if fit) will lend the perfect support to their batting.

The Weakness lies in the top order and the bowling department for the team. There is no suitable opener to partner Dilshan and there is no decent enough spinner to lend support to Herath.

New Zealand

The Kiwis are on the top right now with wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home. Their batting is clicking and the bowling is looking as lethal as ever. The batting is held together very well by the very in form Kane Williamson and the destructive Captain McCullum. They are ably supported by Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi, Martin Guptill and all-rounders Corey Anderson and Tim Southee.

The bowling will be led by the experienced Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and the young tear away Adam Milne. The spin department is in the safe hands of Daniel Vettori- who is playing his final World cup and Nathan McCullum.

They will certainly be looking to get a head start against the 2 time runners-up Sri Lanka as they have the edge against them, but they will be looking to strengthen their opening. Sri Lankans have their problems as Lasith Malinga may not be fully fit.

Last 5 ODIS:
NZ: W.W.L.W.W
SL: W.L.L.L.N/R

Past records aside, the match is surely going to be a cracker of a game between one side which is playing in it den and other who has the experience to take them down.

Possible playing XI:
SL: Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal,Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath.

NZ: Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Kyle Mills, Luke Ronchi (wk), Trent Boult, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson