New Zealand will play its first league game against Sri Lanka (Image Credit: Twitter)
In December and January, New Zealand and Sri Lanka faced off in a bilateral series where the former outplayed the latter completely and finished with a margin of 3-0. A few months later, the two teams are set to lock horns at the biggest stage in Cardiff. The Kiwis had a bittersweet journey in the warm-ups, upstaging India comprehensively. First, Kane Williamson and Co rolled over tournament favourites India and then was easily beaten by the Windies.
Their bowlers were excellent versus the Men in Blue but were taken apart by the rampant Caribbean batsmen. The Lankans couldn’t show any fight whatsoever in the practice games and were brushed aside by South Africa and Australia. Prior to that, the Proteas whitewashed them 5-0 and though they won against Scotland, their confidence won’t be on the higher side by any stretch of the imagination.
With this, let’s look as what could be the best combined eleven:
Wicket-keeper: Kusal Perera and Tom Blundell
Batsmen: Angelo Mathews, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, and Ross Taylor
All-Rounders: Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner
Bowlers: Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Trent Boult
Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Colin Munro, Tom Latham, Matt Henry.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Jeffrey Vandersay, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Nuwan Pradeep.