14 Dec 2018

Black Caps vulnerable ahead of Sri Lanka series

10:20 am on 14 December 2018

Vulnerable is not the first word that would spring to mind when weighing up the Black Caps chances against Sri Lanka, espcially in the wake of their historic test series win over Pakistan.

But that's exactly what Black Caps coach Gary Stead feels his side is vulnerable heading into the first test against Sri Lanka starting at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Saturday.

New Zealand's 2-1 series win over Pakistan in the UAE last week was the Black Caps first series win away to Pakistan in almost 50 years.

Sri Lanka on the other hand are coming off a three nil series loss to England at home.

All factors you would think should have the Black Caps buoyant about kicking off a busy summer at home in winning fashion.

" I do feel this is a vulnerable time in that we have been back only a week. Some guys are still struggling with jetlag and we going from the extreme conditions of low slow turning wickets to probably a hard, fast bouncey Basin Reserve wicket, so they are all things that are little red flags that we need to be aware of," he said.

Gary Stead worries the Black Caps are vulnerable in the opening test against Sri Lanka.

Gary Stead worries the Black Caps are vulnerable in the opening test against Sri Lanka. Photo: Photosport

"So the key word for us in our preparation is let's 'adapt' and be really clear on our game plans because these guys have done it before and they can do it again - but we are a little bit more vulnerable than we would normally be."

Stead dismisses Sri Lanka's 3-nil series loss to England.

"Most teams in world cricket can upset others and it's not like there is a massive gulf between them all and we certainly won't be taking Sri Lanka lightly.

I hope our guys have that frame of mind and we treat them with the respect they deserve.

However Stead concedes he knows little about the current Sri Lankan line up.

"For me it's the unknown...but that's where I'll be leaning on the support staff and players as well to ensure the right scouting that we need to do is complete and done.

That's not to say Stead isn't enjoying the afterglow of his first series win.

"It's a great feeling to come away with a test victory over Pakistan...and it's nice to come home and start the summer on a real high and I hope that the crowds come and want to watch the Black Caps play entertaining cricket because I know our guys want to play that way."

Black Caps celebrate historic away test series win over Pakistan.

Photo: Black Caps

If the Black Caps can secure a 2-nil series win over Sri Lanka it would lift them to second on the ICC test rankings behind India.

A 1-nil series win would move them up to third.