New Zealand will take on the touring Lankans in the first T20I at Eden Park, Auckland. In spite of missing their key players, they dominated the ODI series, winning it 2-0. Sri Lanka might be fielding a full strength XI, but expect them to struggle in the T20I series as well.
Pitch & Conditions
The surface at Eden Park has usually offered a bit of help to batters and bowlers. In all T20s, the average first innings score has been 156. It is does not have a big chasing bias, with chasing teams winning only 12 of the 27 games played here.
Rain has been forecasted during the scheduled hours of play, and humidity is expected to be up to 75%. This could play a decisive role on the toss; a lot of moisture would result in dew which could make it hard for teams to defend.
While you could go for the above team, you can choose your team from Cricket.com's Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
Stats That Matter
At Eden Park, powerplays have gone the batters' way. They've averaged 31 runs/wicket and have scored at 9 RPO.
Spinners are usually used as a defensive option here. They've gone at 8 RPO and taken a wicket every 20 balls, while pacers went for 8.7 RPO and took a wicket every 17 balls.
Lahiru Kumara is coming off some decent ODI form, having taken a wicket in each of his last nine ODIs.
Grand League Punts
Henry Shipley took eight wickets in the ODI series, and Sri Lankan batters looked really uncomfortable while handling the extra bounce generated by him. It would be a surprise if he doesn't carry this form into the T20I series.
Pathum Nissanka was the only Sri Lankan top-order batter who was able to get on top of the ball, and he gave a good account of himself in the final ODI. He will continue playing the role of an anchor, and should be able to do it with ease.
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