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Black Caps prepare to take on Sri Lanka in hot and humid conditions

NZ Herald, Radio Sport,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 7 August 2019, 7:36PM
The Black Caps will face Sri Lanka in a two-test series as part of the ICC Test Championship.

Things have been "hot and steamy" in the Black Caps camp as they prepare for their test series in Sri Lanka.

Less than one month on from controversially falling short to England in the Cricket World Cup grand final, the Black Caps are set for their first taste of the inaugural World Test Championship with a two-test series tipping off next week.

But having delivered a 10-wicket thumping of Sri Lanka in the World Cup, it likely won't be the opposition that leaves the Black Caps sweating.

Instead, the heat and humidity has so far proved most challenging during training, Black Caps' bowler Neil Wagner says.

"You feel like you've literally jumped in a swimming pool with your clothes on," Wagner said following a training session.

"[It's] pretty hot and steamy at the moment, very humid ... It seems to be a bit more sweaty and a bit more tacky around here.

"It's pretty tough to obviously stay dry and [we've] got to take fluids in the whole time. It's pretty wet, pretty sticky and it's going to be challenging but all the boys know what they're up for."

The Black Caps posted a video to Instagram yesterday with the temperature recorded as 31 degrees and humidity more than 80 per cent.

The Black Caps rummaging for cold drinks Photo / Instagram

The Black Caps rummaging for cold drinks Photo / Instagram

Last week, four spin bowlers were named in the Black Caps' 15-man squad, with Will Somerville and Ajaz Patel given a chance to repeat their heroics from last year's test series win over Pakistan.

It was quite a contrast to their squads for tests at home but the Black Caps are preparing to play on Sri Lankan wickets where spinners utterly dominate the domestic wicket-taking charts.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead said the squad followed a "horses-for courses" type strategy, taking into account previous matches held in Sri Lanka.

"Playing three spinners is an option in Sri Lankan conditions and we believe this group provides the best variations and skill mix on offer."

The Black Caps' two-test series starts August 14.

Black Caps test squad to play Sri Lanka: Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Will Somerville, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.

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