Second Test preview: New Zealand v Sri Lanka


The show moves to Wellington for the second Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, with the hosts leading the series, and the historic Basin Reserve promises enticing viewing for the fans.

This is the ground where Brendon McCullum scored his triple century last year, and he's coming into the game on the back of a win in Christchurch, as well as a personal triumph in scoring the fastest Kiwi Test ton.

The ground is different though, and bowling first is the most likely choice for the toss winner. The deck is good for bowling on the first day, especially for the pacemen, but after that it tends to go nice and flat for long batting stints.

The Kiwis could be hampered by a lack of Tim Southee though, as he faces a late fitness test on a dodgy ankle. He and Trent Boult have formed a formidable pairing, and McCullum will be desperate for them to keep going here.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, could have key spinner Rangana Herath back from injury, which will be a massive boost against a side that does not enjoy batting against spin. He can turn in on glass, so the deck's assistance won't be a worry for him.

Eyes will be on Kumar Sangakkara, after he failed twice in the first Test, as this will likely be his final Test match away from home. On the brink of retirement, he will be eager to emulate B-Mac and add a big score of his own. He made a ton the last time he played here, in 2006.

Key Men

For the hosts, Brendon McCullum is the obvious key man. His 195 at the Hagley Oval, off just 134 balls, got his eye nicely in, and he'll be keen to keep his record at this ground on an upward curve.

The Sri Lankans will look to their skipper as well. Angelo Mathews made two half tons in the first Test, and will want to continue 2015 in the same way his 2014 unfolded: With lots and lots of runs, and a wicket or two.

Last Five Head-To-Head Results

2014 First Test: New Zealand won by eight wickets in Christchurch
2012 Second Test: New Zealand won by 167 runs in Colombo
2012 First Test: Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets in Galle
2009 Second Test: Sri Lanka won by 96 runs in Colombo
2009 First Test: Sri Lanka won by 202 runs in Galle


New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (capt), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Mark Craig, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson.

Sri Lanka: Squad: Angelo Mathews (capt), Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella, Prasanna Jayawardena, Dinesh Chandimal, Dilruwan Perera, Tharindu Kaushal, Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath

Dates: 3-7 January
Morning session: 11:00-13:00 (22:00-00:00 GMT)
Afternoon session: 13:40-15:40 (00:40-02:40 GMT)
Evening session: 16:00-18:00 (03:00-05:00 GMT)
On-field umpires: Steve Davis and Richard Illingworth
Third umpire: Bruce Oxenford
Match referee: Chris Broad