Black Caps play three spinners, bat first in World Test Championship opener

The Black Caps have won the toss and chosen to bat first in their opening match of their World Test Championship against Sri Lanka in Galle.

In New Zealand's first red ball assignment since the devastating World Cup final defeat, Kane Williamson's side features three spinners, with the trio of Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville given the green light.

The decision to bat first could prove decisive for the Black Caps, with teams batting first in Sri Lanka boasting a 17-win and two defeat record in the past 19 Tests.

Elsewhere, Tim Southee has been preferred to Neil Wagner in the two seamer roles, with Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle and Tom Blundell the other players to miss out.

Black Caps:1. Tom Latham, 2. Jeet Raval, 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. BJ Watling (wk), 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Will Somerville, 10. Ajaz Patel, 11. Trent Boult.

Will Somerville celebrates a wicket against Pakistan
Will Somerville celebrates a wicket against Pakistan Source: Photosport

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