South Africa v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Paarl

New Zealand a more confident ODI side - Mills

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 17, 2013

Comments: 17 | Text size: A | A

Trent Boult celebrates Kumar Sangakkara's wicket, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Pallekele, November 4, 2012
New Zealand will depend on their young bowling attack to turn their fortunes around in a tough tour © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: Grant Elliott | Kyle Mills
Teams: New Zealand

Fast bowler Kyle Mills believes New Zealand are ready to move on from their crushing defeats in the Test series against South Africa, and test their skills in the shorter format of the ODIs, in which they hope to do better being a 'quality white-ball unit'.

"I think we do have a common respect around the world of cricket that we are a quality white-ball unit. So hopefully, we can produce those sorts of performances that have given us that respect, and produce them to good effect in the coming three games," Mills said before the first ODI in Paarl.

"In the one-day format, we've generally been pretty good. [We've reached] semi-finals of major tournaments all around the world. We're under no illusions, it's going to be a tough task. South Africa are No.1 in the world, they're a quality unit. We've to play exceptionally well in all facets of the game, and if we produce those sort of performances, probably we can get a result."

They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2011. But they have been poor in the last 12 months in the format. They were only successful against Zimbabwe at the start of 2012, after which they lost at home to South Africa, and were comprehensively defeated in their tours of the West Indies and Sri Lanka.

However, towards the end of their tour of Sri Lanka, their fast bowling looked effective. Their attack consists of Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Mitchell McLenaghan - who shone in the Twenty20 series in this tour - besides Mills, who has had a fruitful Plunket Shield season so far, taking 14 wickets in three matches.

"I'm pleased with my form. I've had the luxury of playing against the South African team quite a number of times, [so I've] reasonably set my plans for most of their experienced batters."

With the absence of Ross Taylor, New Zealand's batting rests in the hands of Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson. Grant Elliott, back in the side after two years, was brought in for the one-day leg.

"My comeback has probably come a little bit sooner that I thought," Elliott said. "I was eyeing the one-day series back home in New Zealand, the Ford Trophy, for the last half of the season. But, really happy that it's come now."

Also, it has come in South Africa, where he was born and played cricket till 2001.

"It is quite weird, you know. Having met some people that I recognise from ten years ago when I was here. But to be playing cricket here as well where you grow up as a youngster, you want to be playing for South Africa and as things change in life, you're now playing for New Zealand against South Africa, so I think you lift probably a little bit more with your game because you want to prove a point."

The first of the three-match series begins on Saturday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

Glad to see an innings of substance from Franklin, but the problem is he hardly ever produces these. Wait and see, the rest of this series he'll do next to nothing and all because one innings justifies his inclusion for another two years. AND DROP NICOL!! Please!!?! For goodness sakes, he's hopeless.

Posted by   on (January 19, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

My statements about Mills confirmed so far, but please NZ quit playing Nicol and Franklin, they're not up to it at this level. When did Nicol or Franklin last manage to do something memorable? In Franklin's case, years ago? In Nicol's, never?

Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (January 18, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

@Liquefierrrr - agreed, I wish we would stop talking ourselves up so much. More action, less talk please!

Also agree that some are harsh on Mills. I'm no fan, but his ODI record is very good. It may look like he is bowling pies, but they are mostly effective pies.

@alaithiran - not sure how you reached the conclusion that Ireland are better than NZ based on WC's. NZ has gone further in the last ODI and T20 WC's, including making the SF of the 2011 ODI WC. It seems there is a huge gap between the top test teams and the bottom ones like NZ, but there still seems to be a big gap down to the next levels. That said, I would also like to see Ireland given a chance at test level. Don't see why something like a "Provisional Test Status" can't be applied for a series against the likes of Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, or even NZ. I personally think it could benefit all of those countries.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 18, 2013, 22:04 GMT)

Once Ryder gets back New Zealand may be a different team. The absences of such senior players during the test series cost them dear and they look like they're learning from it. Their one day team is on the rise too and could be competitve in this ODI series. Could be a good one.

Posted by wingman42 on (January 18, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

The BlackCaps are clearly a team for the future. I believe once they get back the bug guns, they possess 5 of the most gifted batsman In Taylor, Mccullum, Ryder, Guppy, and Kane. Once this bunch gets a chance to string together a distraction free year or two of just playing together at a consistent level, I think we have an extremely capable batting foundation with support from the likes of Watling, Franklin, Nicol, and pretty soon the services of the seemingly highly regarded Luke Ronchi. The right arm, left-arm swing tandem of Southee and Boult is an exciting prospect who have the potential to threaten the most established batting line ups in the world. We've got Dougie Bracewell who hits the deck hard and by nature is a fierce competitor with Adam Milne who has the ability to generate real genuine pace and whos action reminds me so much of Bondy. Assuming Vettori makes his ODI comeback for the world cup, watch out folks.

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (January 18, 2013, 2:29 GMT)

Mills needs to measure his statements better. "I think we do have a common respect around the world of cricket that we are a quality white-ball unit." I think the term 'quality' is a stretch. I believe absolutely that they are considered more competitive in ODIs, and I believe this myself, however that is merely a comparison between Tests and ODIs, which given their recent scandals and performances leaves a huge gap for interpretation.

I think SAF will still take this series with relative comfort, though it won't be the absolute disaster that the test series was.

NZ players need to realise that these pseudo-politician-esque speeches count for absolutely nil when you are getting drubbed on the field. Best speak little or not at all and give it your utmost on the field, allowing the results to speak for themselves.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

All just speculation people so maybe just reserve predicting outcomes. As I Kiwi I see it being a very tough to win or even be competitive unless we play our best, but I do think we can win. Mills I think is past his best but maybe without Southee he could get another chance, I believe the key is AB, get him out early and we have a shot.

Posted by mikriket on (January 18, 2013, 0:31 GMT)

Another waiste of time, money and effort in a pointless series. NZ, back to the drawing boards and try again in another few years

Posted by alaithiran on (January 18, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

Rather than disrespect New Zealand's test status, I'd like to promote Ireland's. Ireland are quite probably better than NZ at the moment and, as recent World Cups have shown, are also a quality white ball unit. So let's expand the Test playing circuit to include them - they aren't worse than NZ so shouldn't be left out because they are in a different ability league. I'm not suggesting the BCCI would actually allow the ICC to let that happen, but it's a point I consider valid.

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