Galle, August 13
New Zealand have a chance of securing the top spot in Test cricket when they take on Sri Lanka in a two-match series from tomorrow, exactly a month after their cruel World Cup defeat to England.
New Zealand, with 109 points in Test cricket, are ranked behind India (113 points), but a 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka will see the Kiwis leapfrog India.
Test rankings have added relevance with the new, two-year ICC World Test Championship now underway, culminating in a 2021 final at Lord’s between the top two teams.
Crisis-ridden Sri Lanka will be wary of providing a rank turning wicket in the first Test here after being outsmarted by England in the most recent encounter at the venue.
England overcame the battle with a variety of spin as the trio of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Jack Leach played a key role in a 3-0 series sweep. Mumbai-born left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel is likely to be the second spinner to leggie Todd Astle.
The hosts will be no pushovers, as they showed by winning their most recent series 2-0 in South Africa, becoming the first Asian nation to beat South Africa on their turf. — AFP
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