22 Aug 2019

Black Caps hoping for history to repeat

7:23 am on 22 August 2019

The Black Caps will be hoping for a repeat of their 2012 Tour to Sri Lanka in this week's second cricket Test in Colombo.

Ross Taylor, right, and Martin Guptill celebrate New Zealand's victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test of their 2012 series.

Ross Taylor, right, and Martin Guptill celebrate New Zealand's victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test of their 2012 series. Photo: Photosport

Back then New Zealand were in the exact same position, having been comfortably beaten in the first Test and heading into a must-win second match at the P Sara Oval.

They responded with an emphatic 167-run victory, earning a drawn series.

Ross Taylor, in his last match as fulltime New Zealand captain, led the way on that occasion with 142 and 74.

But, seven years on, he believed that didn't mean too much.

"It's always nice to come back to a ground that you've had some success on but, at the same time, that was a different game and different set of circumstances.

"Obviously being one nil down in the series, hopefully we can get our first win in the Test championship. But there's a lot of hard work and I'm sure Sri Lanka will try their best obviously to stop us".

After setting the home side 268 to win the first Test at Galle, a venue where the highest winning fourth innings total was just 99, the Black Caps appeared very well placed.

But a 161-run opening stand effectively ended the visitors chances, with Sri Lanka eventually wrapping up a six-wicket win.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said although they were competitive at times, they needed to be five to 10 per cent better with bat and ball in Colombo.

"For us, it's really about just starting against spin and being really clear on our plans.

"From a bowling point of view, understanding when they come hard at us, how we're going to defend ourselves and make sure that we can make Sri Lanka take some tough options."

Black Caps coach Gary Stead.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead. Photo: Photosport

Stead said they would look closely at whether they should bring in either seamer Neil Wagner or leg spinner Todd Astle.

He did, though, expect similar conditions to the first Test.

"We're not right on the coast as we were at Galle, so you don't get the same breeze and already here just arriving at the ground I can feel it's a little bit warmer inside the stadium as well.

"We'll have a look at the pitch and work things out. But I don't imagine there's going to be too many changes from what we saw at Galle.

"[We're expecting] a pitch that will turn, and probably offer more to the spinners than it will the seamers."

That means a stiff task ahead for the Black Caps.

But history shows it's not impossible and Taylor remained confident they could rise to the occasion.

"We've been in the situation many times. Been one-nil down, [and then coming] back and playing strong.

"That's all we can ask for is to come back, show that fighting spirit that this team is renowned for and hopefully we can put this very good Sri Lankan side under some pressure."