New Zealand XI ‘unchanged’ for second test

1450317073996New Zealand are expected to name an unchanged side for the second test match against Sri Lanka in Hamilton starting on Friday.

With the test wicket sporting a decidedly green hue at Seddon Park, Black Caps vice-captain Kane Williamson confirmed the four-prong seam attack seen in New Zealand’s first test victory in Dunedin will remain.

That means no space for spinner Mark Craig, while all-rounder Mitchell Santner will play his first test in his home town.

Williamson said both sides will be looking to bowl first on Friday morning, but admitted looks could be deceiving as far as the green wicket is concerned.
“It’s green. Dunedin was green, and we feel it might be more suited to seam bowling,” Williamson said, adding that the team was picked based on the conditions as well as player form.

“A combination of both. I do think it’s more important to look at the conditions – horses for courses, as they say.

“Every surface that we play on here starts out green. I think that it will be a good cricket surface but if it swings, that’s when I think it offers more to the bowlers.

“We played a first class game here a wee while back before Australia and it was very green, but it was more the swing that did a lot, so if it’s hard underneath it might just add a bit of pace to the surface. I’m sure it’ll be pretty tough early on.”

One interesting aspect of the new wicket will be the clay underneath, with Friday’s impending test the first to be played on the new Patumahoe clay.

A couple of years ago half of the Seddon Park block was converted to the new clay, which is expected to provide a faster, bouncier response for the bowlers.

Williamson didn’t seem to care about the change in surface, which seemed fair given his tendency to score on any clay, in any country, no matter what the conditions.

“Does it interest me? Not really. I don’t know much about it.” (Courtesy Stuff.co.nz)

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