Ross Taylor expects New Zealand to tap into their "renowned" fighting spirit and bounce back in the second Test against Sri Lanka, after a disappointing six-wicket loss at Galle.
Taylor, who top-scored for New Zealand with 83 in the first innings, said the team feel they let themselves down but hope to bounce back in Colombo, which has been a happy hunting ground for them. When New Zealand toured Sri Lanka in 2012, they rebounded from the first Test loss at Galle to secure a 167-run win in the second and draw the series. Taylor was the captain then and had won Player of the Match for his knocks of 142 and 74.
The visitors are in a similar situation this time and are keen to better their performance from the first Test. "We tried everything and just weren't good enough," Taylor said, looking back to the Galle game. "It's a new game and I'm sure we've been in this situation many a time – been 1-0 down – and we've come back and played strong.
Sri Lanka kickstart their ICC World Test Championship campaign in style with a brilliant six-wicket win over New Zealand.— ICC (@ICC) August 18, 2019
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne led from the front with a terrific 122.
SCORECARD: https://t.co/tk1bG2fLyn pic.twitter.com/iyXTJx09Z7
"That's all we can ask for. Come back and show that fighting spirit that this team is renowned for and hopefully we can put this very good Sri Lanka team under some pressure."
BJ Watling's resilient 77 in the second innings at Galle helped New Zealand set the hosts a tricky target of 268. The tourists might have fancied their chances but the 161-run opening partnership between captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne put things beyond their grasp. Sri Lanka were led expertly by their skipper, who scored a brilliant 122 – his first Test century in 11 matches.
"I think if you'd told us at the start of the game that we had a 260-run lead, we would've definitely taken it," said Taylor. "The way their openers batted in that second innings took the game away from us and we were playing catch up from there.
It's a new game and I'm sure we've been in this situation many a time – been 1-0 down – and we've come back and played strong.
"It was obviously disappointing to start the Test Championship like that and obviously the series, but [P Sara Oval] is a ground that we've had some success on in the past and hopefully we can replicate some of that."
The second Test begins on Thursday, 22 August, and there are 60 World Test Championships points up for grabs. Sri Lanka currently lead the table with 60 points.
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