17 Nov 2012

Handling spin crucial for Black Caps in first test against Sri Lanka

12:22 pm on 17 November 2012

The New Zealand cricket captain Ross Taylor admits batting against spin will hold the key to his team's fortunes ahead of tonight's first test against Sri Lanka.

The pitch at the Galle International Stadium is traditionally a spin-friendly venue.

Sri Lanka have named three specialist spinners - Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv and Tharindu Kaushal - in the squad, while Taylor says New Zealand is likely to go in with three quicks and one spinner.

The Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene believes the wicket will help spin bowlers only on the last two days and hopes it will be a good track for fast bowlers too.

Taylor says his bowlers have gained from the experience of former Sri Lankan left-arm paceman Chaminda Vaas, who is assisting New Zealand on the current tour.

He says Vaas has given them insight into Sri Lanka conditions and the left-arm quicks are learning a lot off him.

New Zealand have won only three of their 13 Tests in Sri Lanka.