Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Black Caps fold: Taylor hints at changes

New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor is looking at changes to his side ahead of their second cricket test against Sri Lanka in Colombo that gets underway on Sunday.

The Black Caps were hammered by 10 wickets in their opening test inside three days at the Galle International Stadium after a listless second innings batting performance saw them bowled out for 118.

The visitors lost seven wickets in the opening session on day three after they began the morning on 35-1 but went to lunch at 96-8, which was effectively 70-8 because Sri Lanka had a 26-run lead from the first innings.

SCOREBOARD

Sri Lanka were eventually left with a chase of 93 and openers Dimuth Karunaratne (60 not out) and Tharanga Paranavitana (31 not out) ticked off the runs in 18.3 overs.

Taylor said in the post-match presentation that changes were probable for the test at the P Sara Oval, which is likely to take more turn than the wicket in Galle.

"I'm sure there'll be a couple of changes," Taylor said.

"We'll have to see what the wicket's like but I guess when you finish a test match inside the third day you've got an extra couple of days for training and we'll certainly need that. We need to pick ourselves up and not be too down.

"But, in a two-match series we are still in it and we just need to fight a lot harder than we did in the last couple of days."

Leg-spinner Todd Astle looks a good bet to come in to the side for the second test and could potentially replace James Franklin given his ability to bat at No 6 if required.

Astle could form a tandem spin act with Jeetan Patel who was employed largely in a defensive role in the test but managed to take 3-55 in Sri Lanka's first innings.

A test debut would cap a remarkable career transformation for Astle who began his first-class career as an opening batsman in late 2005 but more recently has focused on his spin bowling and now bats in the middle to lower order for Canterbury.

It's hard to see too many other changes, given the squad is low on batting replacements and the men with the willow were the culprits that contributed to such a woeful performance in Galle.

Veteran seamer Chris Martin could be called upon to replace Tim Southee given the latter didn't take the field during Sri Lanka's brief run chase as he sat out with a leg injury but it wasn't thought to be serious.

If New Zealand coach Mike Hesson wanted to plump for the experienced Martin, he could leave Doug Bracewell out given he went wicketless in the test and looked slightly off the pace.

But, the major failings came with the bat and the heat must go on Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Taylor to apply themselves at the crease and show more heart than they did during the first test.

Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath was the player New Zealand struggled to get on top of and the 34-year-old left-armer finished with 11-108 in his 41st test match.

Off-spinner Suraj Randiv didn't pick up as many wickets but was also a thorn in New Zealand's side and Taylor said his men needed to become more adept at dealing with the turning ball.

"We need to address it as quick as possible leading in to the next match. We know what it's probably going to turn a little bit more up in Colombo. I thought Herath bowled really well and put us under pressure the whole time both in the first and second innings. I thought we played Randiv well but we need a plan to know how we are going to combat that in the next match."

- APNZ

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