COLOMBO: New Zealand's youngsters were more than capable of giving Sri Lanka a tough fight in the upcoming three-match one-day series starting at Hambantota on Sunday, stand-in skipper Kyle Mills said on Friday.
Hit by injuries to skipper Brendon McCullum and vice-captain Kane Williamson, and with former captain Ross Taylor rested, New Zealand have named a young and inexperienced team for their short tour that also consists of two T20 internationals.
"I don't think this is a weak team. It is one of the most exciting cricketing teams to leave New Zealand shores," Mills told a media conference in Colombo.
"I am sure the names are not familiar with you now but at the end of the tour you'll get to know some of the young guys."
"It's a great opportunity for us as a team and for some of the young members of our group to showcase their talent on the international stage."
Captaining his country at the age of 34 was not something Mills expected in his 155-match ODI career.
"Due to circumstances with Brendon's (McCullum) and Kane's (Williamson's) unfortunate injuries I have been trusted with the job. It's a challenge I've really enjoyed so far," said Mills.
"We have absolute belief we can do the job over here. It's an exciting couple of weeks for me as captain and also for the team."
New Zealand lost the three-match ODI series 3-0 to Bangladesh but Mills stated that winning the last game, a T20 international, has boosted their confidence for the Sri Lankan series.
"It was nice to win the last game where with nearly 400 runs scored it was a bit of a thriller," said Mills.
"To come out on top showed a lot of confidence from the team. It was exciting to see a number of guys step up and the guys who did step up were the younger members of the group.
"It is encouraging for New Zealand Cricket to see such young emerging talent," he said.