Christchurch: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has said Sri Lanka have improved their away form by several notches and are a formidable side anywhere in the world now.
Hosts New Zealand take on Sri Lanka here Friday in the first of a two-match Test series, followed by seven One-Day Internationals.
"There's challenges in front of us - Sri Lanka are a very good team and they travel a lot better than they used to," he was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Herald Thursday.
With the World Cup looming, McCullum wants to keep that momentum going against Sri Lanka.
"They're not going to roll over for us. We're going to have to be very smart and consistent with our style of play and how we execute our game plan," he said.
The match will mark Hagley Oval's debut as a Test venue and will feature two sides who will be involved in the World Cup opener at the same venue Feb 14, next year.