Batsman Martin Guptill is looking forward to a challenging battle with Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga during this month’s ODI series.
Malinga has been named captain of the touring squad, succeeding wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal.
‘He’s played a lot of international cricket and done extremely well with his awkward action, so once we get back out there it’s about getting reacquainted with where his release point is and just watching the ball as hard as we can,’ Radio NZ quoted Guptill as saying.
The hard-hitting opening batsman has not played international cricket since March 2018, when coach Mike Hesson was still in charge. New coach Gary Stead has since taken over.
‘It is pretty much business as usual, to be honest. I don’t see my role changing too much in the side. Colin Munro and I have just got to go out there and show what we can do and have a bit of fun at the top of the order,’ he added.
‘I haven’t played for New Zealand since last summer, which is quite a long time ago, so to be back here is extremely exciting and I’m looking forward to getting back into it.’
This year will bring a World Cup campaign in the United Kingdom for New Zealand. Their opening fixture of the limited-overs showpiece will be against the Sri Lankans in Cardiff on 1 June.
‘When you’re building for any World Cup, there’s always excitement about it and you’ve just got to take each game as it comes leading into it,’ concluded Guptill.
‘If you look too far ahead, you’re not going to worry about what’s happening in the now, so our focus is on these ODIs against Sri Lanka.’