Sri Lanka and New Zealand are hoping for drier weather as they begin their two-match T20 series at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. The preceding three-match ODI series was severely affected by rain and the two teams would want to play a complete cricket match in the shortest version of the game.
Sri Lanka once again reflect an experienced look with trio Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene forming the core of the side. They will be led by young Dinesh Chandimal.
Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera will be useful with their all-round skills, while two mystery spinners - Sachithra Senanayake and Ajantha Mendis - are expected to trouble the inexperienced Black Caps' squad. The shortest form of the game is Lasith Malinga's forte and he would be crucial for the hosts with his four overs.
New Zealand, contrary to expectations, played well in the ODI series that ended 1-1. They coped well without seasoned campaigners Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson. They would expect opener Niel Broom to fire for them. Broom made a super-quick century for his state side at the Champions League in India. Antom Devcich, another top-order batsman, has a reputation to hit long and the visitors would expect him to fire at the top.
Kyle Mills will lead the Black Caps' attack, having captained the side in ODIs too. Ian Butler, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne to take up the pace bowling responsibility, while Grant Eliott and Jimmy Neesham will serve as allrounders.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Kumar Sangakkara, Lasith Malinga, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ramith Rambukwella, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara.
New Zealand: Kyle Mills (capt), Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Andrew Ellis, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Rob Nicol, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford.