New Zealand had a bad series against the West Indies

It’s time New Zealand reversed its bad run in the One-Day Internationals, captain Ross Taylor said as it prepares to take on Sri Lanka in the opener of a five-match ODI series on Thursday.

New Zealand lost four of five matches of its last series against the West Indies in July, and before that it was swept at home by South Africa 3-0 at the start of the year.

“We are not looking too far ahead, tomorrow’s game is an important one,” Taylor said on Wednesday.

Its confidence wasn’t boosted by the opening tour match on Tuesday, when New Zealand slumped to 74 for seven in 14 overs before the one-off Twenty20 was washed out.

The pitch at Pallekele International Stadium has been covered for several days because of rain, and it is expected to retain moisture and assist seam bowlers with sharp movement, as exploited by Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Jayawardene returns

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and fast bowler Lasith Malinga return after being rested for the Twenty20. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has also been called up while off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake and batsman Dilshan Munaweera, who were part of the Twenty20 squad, have been excluded.

Sri Lanka has also included 19-year-old off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal. Spinner Akila Dananjaya, who made his international debut without any first-class experience in the World Twenty20, is likely to make his ODI debut on Thursday. New Zealand has retained the same squad as the Twenty20.

The teams (from): Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga, Akila Dananjaya, Tharindu Kaushal.

New Zealand: Ross Taylor (captain), Trent Boult, Andrew Ellis, James Franklin, Ronnie Hira, Tom Latham, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, B.J. Watling, Kane Williamson.

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