Colombo: New Zealand will look to come out from the horrors they suffered in their recent series defeat against Bangladesh when they take on Sri Lankan in a three-match ODI series starting at Hambantota on Sunday
New Zealand lost all three matches against Bangladesh and snapping that losing streak won't be easy, especially with even more depleted side.
Hit by injuries to skipper Brendon McCullum and vice-captain Kane Williamson, and with former captain Ross Taylor rested, New Zealand have named a young and inexperienced team for their short tour that also consists of two T20 internationals.
The stand-in skipper Kyle Mills understands the challenge in front him but is confident of youngsters giving Sri Lanka a tough fight.
"I don't think this is a weak team," Mills told a media conference in Colombo. "It is one of the most exciting cricketing teams to leave New Zealand shores. "I am sure the names are not familiar with you now but at the end of the tour you'll get to know some of the young guys.
"It's a great opportunity for us as a team and for some of the young members of our group to showcase their talent on the international stage."
Captaining his country at the age of 34 was not something Mills expected in his 155-match ODI career. "Due to circumstances with Brendon's and Kane's unfortunate injuries, I have been trusted with the job," said Mills. "It's a challenge I've really enjoyed so far.
"We have absolute belief we can do the job over here. It's an exciting couple of weeks for me as captain and also for the team."
New Zealand lost the three-match ODI series 3-0 to Bangladesh but Mills stated that winning the last game, a T20 international, has boosted their confidence for the Sri Lankan series.
"It was nice to win the last game where, with nearly 400 runs scored, it was a bit of a thriller," said Mills. "To come out on top showed a lot of confidence from the team. It was exciting to see a number of guys step up and the guys who did step up were the younger members of the group.
"It is encouraging for New Zealand Cricket to see such young emerging talent."
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Ashan Priyanjan
New Zealand: Kyle Mills (capt), Corey Anderson, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Andrew Ellis, Tom Latham (wk), Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Rob Nicol, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom