Sri Lankan left-hander Lahiru Thirimanne says he has big boots to fill as he is slowly getting into the groove to bat at the crucial number four position vacated by former captain Mahela Jayawardene, who retired from Tests in August 2014.
"Batting at No.4 is a big challenge for me, because that was Mahela Jayawardene's spot. I need to work very hard to live up to that. It's a position that's very valuable for the team and we're used to some top performances from our No.4 batsman," Thirimanne was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.com.
"That's not an easy loss to fill. But I'm taking it game by game, and I've filled my head with thoughts about how the next match should be approached."
In their Test match at Christchurch where the Black Caps' skipper Brendon McCullum blasted away the Lankan attack with a blistering 195 and won the game with eight wickets to spare, Thirimanne collected a match aggregate of 49 runs.
The 25-year-old Thirimanne, however, said he took plenty of confidence in his long stay at the crease in the second innings when he played out 124 deliveries in over three hours in the middle.
"In the second innings, what we needed most was for someone to build a partnership with Dimuth Karunaratne. The way I batted in that innings is perhaps not my natural style, but it was good in the sense that I hit a lot of balls in the middle of the bat. I'm happy with that."
The second Test will be played at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, from January 3.