Colombo:New Zealand open their Sri Lanka tour on Friday with skipper Daniel Vettori confident his side can make an impact despite a relatively inexperienced line-up. The Kiwis kick off their six-week tour against a Sri Lanka development squad and have just one more warm-up fixture before the opening Test in Galle on August 18.
The visitors, who last played Test cricket in April, when they hosted India, were forced to practise indoors before their arrival due to the New Zealand winter.
"We are looking forward to the warm-up games, especially for some of our younger players, to get used to the heat and the Sri Lankan bowlers," Vettori said during a function last night.
"Everybody has been working hard indoors, but there is only so much you can do," said the veteran skipper, whose last international outing was at the World Twenty20 in England in June.
Vettori, with 92 Tests behind him, said the Black Caps have talent, but lack the experience to be consistent in the longer version of the game.
"Most of the guys in the side have not played a lot of Test cricket," he said.
"That is one of the reasons why we have not performed so well in the Tests. This team has the talent to succeed. We have to just get some performances under our belt."
The slow left-arm orthodox bowler believes his team is strong on bowling and hopes the batsmen will adjust to the pressures in the two-Test series, featuring games in Galle and Colombo.
"We have experience in our bowling - me, Chris Martin and Jacob Oram - that helps us a lot. We do have a very experienced top order but you have to say our strength is in our bowling," said Vettori.
Vettori is confident the Black Caps will perform well on the tour, which includes two Twenty20 internationals and a tri-nation one-day series also featuring India.
"You always go into the series wanting to win but if we could pull off a couple of draws or win the series 1-0, that's pretty good."
He said the recent Sri Lanka-Pakistan series, which the home side won 2-0, had shown the importance of seam bowlers but New Zealand are also bracing themselves for the threat from Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis.