GALLE (Sri Lanka) (AFP) - New Zealand face a severe examination of their skill and stamina as they prepare to take on buoyant Sri Lanka in a two-Test series starting on Tuesday. On top of the challenge of playing on unfamiliar wickets in oppressive heat and humidity, Daniel Vettori's Black Caps will be up against a home side fresh from a 2-0 series win over Pakistan last month. Vettori admitted holding the hosts to two draws would be a good result for his inexperienced team, whose four Test wins over the past two years have included three against lowly Bangladesh. "You always want to go into a series wanting to win, but if we can pull off a couple of draws or win the series 1-0, that would be an exciting result for this team," the 92-Test veteran said.New Zealand last won a Test series in Sri Lanka 25 years ago in 1984, but managed to draw both matches on their last trip under Stephen Fleming in 2003.Sri Lanka, always formidable opponents at home, defeated Pakistan despite missing master spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for the entire series due to a knee injury. Muralitharan, the world's most successful Test bowler with 770 wickets, is now back to torment the Black Caps, many of whom have not played the wily off-spinner before. "It will be a learning curve for a number of our players as it will be against Murali as well," said fellow spinner Vettori. "For some of the guys this is the first time they will be seeing Murali." To counter the problem, the Kiwis hired former Pakistan Test player Saqlain Mushtaq to prepare their batsmen to face the turning ball, especially the 'doosra,' the off-spinner's googly that turns the other way after pitching. Also bowling to them in the nets ahead of the series was an unknown 19-year-old English player, Maurice Holmes, a bowler whose action resembles Muralitharan's who was discovered by the Kiwis during the World Twenty20 in England. New Zealand will, however, take heart from Sri Lanka's vulnerable batting. The side only managed to pass 300 once in six innings against Pakistan. Kumar Sangakkara's home team could also be unsettled by three consecutive losses to Pakistan in the final two one-day matches and a Twenty20 international over the past 10 days, although they took the one-day series 3-2. "There are a lot of areas we have to work on to become a consistently winning side," Sangakkara admitted. "We have to take the defeats on the chin and move on by learning from the mistakes we made. "The positive thing is we have a great bunch of players willing to stand up and be counted when the chips are down. "But it goes without saying that we must put up big scores in the two Tests, something we were not able to do against Pakistan." New Zealand's best chance in the series lies in the first Test at the Galle International Stadium where seam bowlers took 21 of the 40 wickets during the Pakistan match last month. The second Test will be played at the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo from August 26-30, followed by two Twenty20 internationals and a limited-overs tri-series also featuring India.