New Zealand
New Zealand play Sri Lanka in the first T20 international in PallekeleReuters

As the World T20 comes closer and closer, each and every international match in the format will grow in importance. When Sri Lanka and New Zealand clash in two T20s starting Tuesday, it will be all about finding the right balance and team for the World Cup in March in Bangladesh.

The one-day series between the two sides was constantly interrupted by rain, and wet weather is again expected to be a big factor. Rain has been forecast in Pallekele during the evening, around the time the match is scheduled to start.

Where to watch live

The match is scheduled for a 7pm IST start with live coverage on Ten Cricket in India. No official live streaming options are available.


Both Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be hoping the weather Gods will relent for at least the two days during the T20Is, allowing them to get some much-needed game time.

"We have already started preparing for the World T20," New Zealand captain for the series Kyle Mills said. "You could see that over the last couple of months, with the introduction of some young players. Some of them have really stood up, so with the T20 games remaining between now and the World Cup, you see those guys come to the forefront. Our whole objective is to find a squad to try and win the tournament."

New Zealand are struggling for runs at the top, with their lower order coming up trumps on quite a few occasion in the limited-overs series in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Mills acknowledged the need for the top order to come to the party.

"The late order guys have been in pretty good form the whole way through," he said. "The scores we were able to manage in the series here and also in Bangladesh when we scored 200 in a T20 game and 300 in a 50-over game was really good.

"[Nathan] McCullum's been in good form the whole way through and he had a pretty good Champions league and A series in Sri Lanka. We bat pretty deep so we've got full confidence in our batting order. Hopefully the top order can score a few more runs."

For Sri Lanka, the pressure will be on T20 skipper Dinesh Chandimal, with several people questioning his ability to lead the side when in reality his place in the first XI is not exactly secure.

Chandimal will want to silence his critics with a couple good innings of his own, while also maintaining Sri Lanka's No.1 rank in T20s - one win out of the two matches will keep them firmly perched at the top.

Expected lineups: Sri Lanka: Dilshan, Jayawardene, Sangakkara (wk), Thirimanne, Mathews, Chandimal (capt), Thisara Perera, Kulasekara, Senanayake, Malinga, Mendis.

New Zealand: Rutherford, Latham, Broom, Elliott, Munro, Ronchi (wk), Neesham, N McCullum, Ellis, Mills (capt), McClenaghan.