All things considered, though, New Zealand certainly have the edge.
The two-test series, with the second match set for Colombo, is the first for both teams in the newly launched World Test Championship, which features the top nine test-playing nations competing in a league across two years.More news: OnePlus TV Official Name, Logo Revealed Ahead of Formal Launch
Sri Lanka has been disappointing in patches, losing against England, New Zealand and Australia last year, but is hugely boosted by an unexpected but well-deserved 2-0 series win in South Africa earlier this year. "When we played against England, we kept attacking them too much with our bowlers, and we couldn't stop the runs", Karunaratne was quoted by ESPNCricinfo ahead of the first Test against New Zealand. Southee needs four more wickets to become the 3rd player after Muttiah Muralitharan (82) and Daniel Vettori (51) to pick up 50 wickets in Sri Lanka-New Zealand Test matches.
The Black Caps now sit second on the rankings on 111 points, two behind India who open a two-test series against West Indies in the Caribbean next week. "Look forward to this, the start of the test championship", Williamson said.
Drying runs up may be especially vital in the first Test, if, as Karunaratne suspects, the pitch is more batting-friendly than it usually is in Galle. Visiting spinners have also had a fair bit of success in Sri Lanka recently, and Patel and co. will have studied closely. Sri Lanka can be a tough nut to crack at home in the longest format of the game.More news: Disney Exploring Sequel to Live-Action 'Aladdin'
Which TV channels will broadcast the Sri Lanka vs New Zealand 1st Test match? Chandimal has not played for Sri Lanka in any format since he lost the captaincy in February, and is expected to slot back in Galle.
Amidst Sri Lanka's hullabaloo over Test captains came a ray of hope in the form of Dimuth Karuraratne who led Sri Lanka to a 2-0 victory in South Africa this year. He has played 53 Tests, from which he averages 41.86 with 11 centuries.
Lineups: Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara.More news: 'Little Women' trailer: Watch Saoirse Ronan lead the feminist charge
Both Suranga Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando were main architects during the win in South Africa.