New Zealand off-spinner Craig likely to play against Sri Lanka

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Christchurch, Dec 25: Off-spinner Mark Craig is likely to play his first Test Friday when hosts New Zealand take on Sri Lanka here at the Hagley Oval Friday despite the pitch heavily loaded in favour of fast bowlers.

Overcast conditions and a deep green tinge look of the pitch means that both teams will go in the match with a pre-dominantly pace heavy attack.

But New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum Thursday said though playing 11 was yet to be finalised, there was a chance off-spinner Craig could play.

"We'll have a bit of a hit out and see how the guys come through. We've got a good strong squad and whatever decision we go with I'll be pretty confident we can get the job done," he was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz Thursday.

McCullum said he was willing to bowl first if he won the toss.

"Normally I don't win the toss in New Zealand anyway. But in Christchurch, if the sun's out it can play reasonably well.

"We'll wait and see in the morning. Until we get the covers off and see what the day's like, it's pretty hard to make that kind of decision, but we are leaning towards bowling first," he said.

IANS

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