Some teams like Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe are trying their best to get into the main stage of the World T20, by topping their respective group in the qualifiers, which started Tuesday. However other nations, who have qualified for the main round of the World T20, will play some warmup matches starting Thursday.
Sri Lanka are set to face New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, in one of the two warmup matches that has been scheduled for Thursday. Both teams will use this match as preparation for the World T20.
New Zealand are one of the in-form teams in world cricket. The Black Caps have played some great cricket, defeating Pakistan and New Zealand in their last two T20 series comprehensively. New Zealand have a well-balanced team, with quality batsman and bowlers in their side.
Trent Boult, Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenaghan are going to be a huge force with the ball, but it is their batting unit, which looks mighty strong. They have some big hitters – Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Corey Anderson – and some experienced players like Kane Richardson and Ross Taylor, which makes them a formidable unit.
These batsmen have already lit up during the training sessions, and they are hitting huge sixes, according to batting coach Craig McMillan.
"We've had a lof sixes hit over the two trainings we've had. The boys have been smokin' it. "I would say Guptill hit one the first day that was probably 110m and Anderson hit one tonight that would be pretty close. I say a tie between the two brutes," stuff.co.nz was quoted as saying by McMillan.
"In T20 the focus becomes about power and hitting the ball hard."
"We are making the changes from Test cricket. The guys are powerful, they like playing white ball cricket so the adjustment hasn't been too big to make. "They are showing how dangerous our batting lineup can be on the day."
Their opponents Sri Lanka have been in poor T20 form. They not only lost in the Asia Cup and the T20 series against India recently, but also drew their two-match T20 series against West Indies last year. Sri Lanka are missing their stalwarts -- Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara -- who have both retired from the game.
Sri Lanka are undergoing a transition phase, hence their experienced cricketers such as Angelo Mathews, Tillakratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga and Rangana Herath need to shoulder responsibility and help the team come out with flying colours.
With Malinga having given up captaincy, Mathews will take over the role and he has to lead from the front.
Though Sri Lanka might have a good bowling unit, comprising Mathews, Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera Nuwan Kulasakera and Herath, it is their batting, which has been a major problem. Dilshan is their best batsman, but the right-hander's form has been a concern. However, Dinesh Chandimal has looked good in the T20 format as an opener after being asked to bat at the top in the Asia Cup.
Chandimal consistently gave Sri Lanka a decent start in the Asia Cup, but the middle order failed to take advantage. So, when they face New Zealand in the practice game, Sri Lanka can tinker with their middle order and see what suits best for them ahead of the World T20.
There is a serious need for Sri Lanka to improve their game if they are to put up a serious challenge and defend their World T20 title.
Where to follow live
There is no live TV coverage of the Sri Lanka vs New Zealand World T20 warm-up game.
However, ICC official website will provide live score updates for the Sri Lanka vs New Zealand World T20 warm-up game.