New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Napier February 28, 2012

New Zealand need new ideas to stop tourists


Match Facts

February 29, Napier
Start time 1400 (0100 GMT)

Big Picture

A win in Napier will see South Africa add the ODI trophy to their victory in the Twenty20s in New Zealand. Gary Kirsten, head coach, has made plain that South Africa's goals are to win every series they play, whether at home or away, and a triumph on his first visit abroad with the team will serve as a strong indication of what the team can offer in future.

So far, almost everything South Africa have tried has worked. They should not experiment too much in their quest to close out the series with a match to spare, but will likely continue to leave the No. 4 position flexible and use the part-time spinners to keep the opposition batsmen guessing.

What has been most impressive about South Africa's performances in New Zealand has been the apparent progress they have made in the mental side of the game. JP Duminy alluded to it after the first ODI when he spoke about how he, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis negotiated the tough period after the loss of three early wickets. South Africa have embraced pressure on the tour so far and will want to do so again, as proof of their ability to deal with it.

After starting the tour brightly, with victory in the first T20, New Zealand have let South Africa have the better of them. Always a shrewd side, New Zealand will have to think harder than normal to come up with ways to beat a South African side who seem to have an answer for everything.

New Zealand have had recent success at McLean Park. They beat Zimbabwe by 202 runs in an ODI at the venue two and a half weeks ago. In addition to the magnitude of the win, the massive 373 for 8 New Zealand piled on in that game with buoy them, after a below-par batting performance in the Wellington ODI. They cannot hope to maul South Africa's exponentially more dangerous attack the same way they did Zimbabwe's but they can hope to make better use of home conditions in an attempt to take the series to a decider.

Form Guide

(most recent first)
New Zealand LWWWL
South Africa WLLWW

Players to watch …

Kane Williamson's ODI hundreds have come against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe but his next highest score, 55, came against South Africa in the first match in Wellington. Often overshadowed by the openers, Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder, Williamson has not had too much opportunity to display his talent and will hope he gets a chance in this match. He has shown himself to be both classy and courageous with bat in hand and spoke of his admiration for AB de Villiers' "clinical" innings in Wellington, one he would like to mirror.

Jacques Kallis has played in both previous ODI series South Africa have contested in New Zealand. He scored a century in his first ODI innings in the country, in 1999 in Dunedin. In Napier, however, he has scored 4 and 0 in his two innings. With South Africa's current tour being headlined by the young guns, Kallis will want to show that the old hands still have it. He has been in sublime form in ODIs in the last six months with three half-centuries in his last five games. With his ambitions to play in the next World Cup, Kallis will want to get big scores in New Zealand, who are co-hosts for the 2015 tournament.

Team news

New Zealand have left Michael Bates and Doug Bracewell out of their squad. Bracewell has been rested in preparation for the Test series. The No. 5 position will be occupied by either Jesse Ryder or Tom Latham. Ryder has to be managed as he makes his return from a calf injury and may be rested. The bowling unit may see a return for Andy McKay, who last played when New Zealand lost to Zimbabwe in Bulawayo last October, if New Zealand opt to go without legspinner Tarun Nethula.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Rob Nicol, 3 Brendon McCullum, 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Jesse Ryder/Tom Latham, 6 James Franklin, 7 Andrew Ellis, 8 Nathan McCullum, 9 Kyle Mills 10 Tim Southee, 11 Tarun Nethula/Andy McKay

Both South Africa's openers, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, have concerns with the former nursing a sore arm after being hit in the nets and the latter looking after a cold. AB de Villiers said he expects both to play. If one of them misses out, South Africa will need a makeshift opener and could look to Robin Peterson or Justin Ontong to do the job. The rest of the line-up should remain unchanged with Peterson holding on to his place ahead of Johan Botha.

South Africa (probable): 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Graeme Smith, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Stats and Trivia

  • The Wellington ODI will be Brendon McCullum's 200th
  • South Africa have four survivors from the last time they played in Napier: Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Robin Peterson and Albie Morkel


"That was the beauty of the Zimbabwe series; guys got integrated into the side."
Brendon McCullum says New Zealand now have a larger pool of players to choose from if they opt to rest members of the squad

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Clinton on March 1, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    "(February 28 2012, 21:08 PM GMT) I'd say training facilities would have to be pretty good for a country of 4 million to compete with a nation of 50 million+"

    I always find the comparison between the population size a country as a way of inferring that they must be better at a sport quite humorous! Based on this logic China should really be world number one at every single sport. Oh wait, but you may argue that China are not ICC members, well then how about wondering how any other country even has the slightest chance against India at cricket with it's population of 1.2 billion!

    You'd be wise to factor in political history, population demographics, wealth and the like. Cricket has historically been a white sport in SA. This is luckily changing but whites make up only 9.2% of the population which works out around the same as your population claim for NZ.

    It only takes 11 great players to make an unstoppable cricket team so stop making excuses.

  • Saritha on March 1, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    testing comment - please ignore.

  • Ronald on February 29, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Oh Dear...Why don't we just ignore the power plays ...?? The whole thinking in NZ cricket is wrong from their lack of Fitness to player selection ...Apparantly one is only a capable cricketer when one is near the 30 year old mark and Franklin again showed that he is little more than a club cricketer with his lackadazical approach...And having watched Indias demolition of Sri Lanka last night surely on a flat Napier pitch we need two specialist spinners not medium pacers that do not move the ball...

  • A.J on February 28, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    There's an old saying "if you don't have aces, play jokers" i.e Wild Cards. Neew Zealanders have a lot of weak links and when I look down the list and see the likes of Southee, Nethula, Elllis all I see is weakness. An explosive player like the young Latham could burts out of the ranks and change the game, but I can't see Southee or Ellis winning the game. The fact is; when you have a bunch of weak bowlers you need a long batting order to score big runs. ......Play 1. Guptil....2. Nicol...3. Williamson....4. Ryder....5. Latham...6. Franklin...7. McCullum B ...8. McCullum N...9. Ellis...10. Bracewell...11. Mills /// Here's a team that bats all the way down and there are plenty of bowling options...8 by my count, so why not play a team with more ways to win. Southee is not going to win you any games, he not tall enough to get bounce.

  • Mark on February 28, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    NZ supporter here. I've been looking forward to this tour for some time. A world class team in SA vs a competent but not brilliant team in NZ. While I don't expect NZ to win everything I do hope they'll win the ODI and Test series (does anyone really care about T20??) or at the very least a match in each.

    SA's top 4 batsmen are world class compared to only BMac being of any real class in the current NZ top 4, especially given Taylor's absence. SA's bowlers are clearly a step above NZ's too in terms of pace and accuracy. Which all means NZ must put some real pressure on SA, and not for short periods of time but for the whole match. NZ can only do that if they play at the top of their game with unerring accuracy and with an attacking attitude.

    GO NZ!!!

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    id say training facilities would have to be pretty good for a country of 4 million to compete with a nation of 50 million +

  • John on February 28, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Us Kiwi fans have to remember what a classy team SA are, watching the 1st innings on Saturday i was so impressed with the way SA bowled, the quick's in particular, our batsmen didn't really have an answer, lucky for us they haven't picked De Lange imagine Steyn, M Morkel and De Lange as a triple threat bowling short to us haha, and then there's the batsmen, 1,2,3 and 4 you have to get them early if you want a chance. In saying all that i still support the black caps till the end and hope they have it in them to fight for a win today, all the best boys go out and play hard, Gotta get the win today!

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    As always, it is plain to see that New Zealand just lack world class players. This has been the case for a long time. They also have too many all-rounders. A dominant team such as South Africa needs to have a strong discipline of bowlers, batsmen and all-rounders. It's a simple problem but it's incredibly difficult to overcome if the training facilities and emphasis on cricket in NZ are poor.

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Why do you think, Spelele? Maybe, I don't know, because he needs rest? He's had a heavy workload for a young new bowler who only debuted recently!

  • Logan on February 28, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    Mate, they are looking ahead to the test series. Play your best XI, yeah, but don't grind your bowlers into the ground looking for a win. That's exactly how Shane Bond was broken. Besides which, Bracewell is a far better test bowler than in ODIs. I'd take Nethula ahead of Ellis, and McKay in place of Bracewell, although that does leave us with a bit of a long tail.

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