South Africa v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Paarl

Mismatch looms in low-key series

The Preview by Firdose Moonda

January 18, 2013

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

January 19, 2013
Boland Park Paarl
Start time 1000 (0800 GMT)

Martin Guptill whips one behind square, South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd T20, East London, December 23, 2012
Will Martin Guptill be awesome like in the Twenty20s or awful like in the Tests? © Gallo Images

Big Picture

You can tell a lot about a place by simply browsing through its newspapers. A quick glance at the local media in South Africa will reveal that three-match ODI series against New Zealand is almost not happening.

The back page has been taken over by football's African Nations' Cup which is being hosted in South Africa and begins on the same day as the first ODI. The inside pages are a mixture of Super Rugby previews, Australian Open action and look ahead to the Test series against Pakistan. Only a few lines have been set aside for the New Zealand contest and most will say, deservedly so given the mis-match of the Test series.

New Zealand's media is also not taking the series too seriously. The two newspaper journalists and one radio reporter who covered the Tests have left South African shores. their parting words were that they would return home to concentrate on the upcoming England series and would only keep this contest in the very periphery of their vision.

Even if it is of little interest, the series will be of some use to both participating sides. For New Zealand, it is an opportunity to claw back some respect after they were humiliated in the Tests. They are still without some of their key players but at least look a more capable unit in this format than the longer ones. Specialists such as Kyle Mills, Rob Nicol and Grant Elliott have been brought in to bolster their ranks and New Zealand will hope to compete and maybe even spring a surprise or two.

South Africa will see this as phase 1 in the long-term preparations for the 2015 World Cup. Although two years away, South Africa's 2013 schedule means they can focus this period on fifty-over cricket. They played 13 ODIs in 2012 and could play as many as ten more this year, depending on how far they go in the Champions Trophy. Winning that competition will go a long way to ensure the chokers label starts peeling off and coming with ways to win that start in this series.

Form guide

(most recent first, completed matches only)
South Africa: WLLWW
New Zealand: LLLLL

In the spotlight

It's tough to keep a proper eye on a coach but Gary Kirsten's strategies will be under the microscope as he looks to create an ODI unit that win ICC silverware. Kirsten has earmarked 2013 as an important period for ODI development in a similar way to how 2012 was identified as the time for the Test team to shine. The success in the longest format has come through consistency and a solid team culture which Kirsten said will take longer to embed in the limited-overs side. His first task is to find the right combinations, then to ensure the continually indecisive AB de Villiers is comfortable in his role as captain and lastly, to get the tactics right. In between that and managing workload ahead of the Pakistan series, Kirsten has his plate overflowing for the next week.

After an inept show with the bat in the Tests, Martin Guptill returns to the white-ball game with a point to prove. He has already had success in the Twenty20 series where his unbeaten century singlehandedly levelled the series for New Zealand and his capability in the shorter forms is much lauded. His tendency in Tests to hang his bat out to dry gets shelved in limited-overs where he plays with freedom and finesse. Good performances in the three ODIs won't stop the questions about his ability against the red ball but it may buy him some time.

Team news:

A new wicketkeeper in Quinton de Kock means that de Villiers will be free from the glovework in this series. De Kock batted at No. 3 in the Twenty20s but came in lower in this format, although South Africa's batting line-up will remain flexible. Colin Ingram could find himself back in the starting XI with Farhaan Behardien likely to make his ODI debut and both will compete with Ryan McLaren, depending on whether South Africa want an allrounder. Robin Peterson will do the spinning duties while any combination of two of the four quicks will play.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith 2 Hashim Amla 3 Faf du Plessis 4 AB de Villiers (capt) 5 Quinton de Kock (wk), 6 and 7 Colin Ingram/Farhaan Behardien/Ryan McLaren 8 Robin Peterson, 9, 10 and 11 Dale Steyn/Morne Morkel/Lonwabo Tsotsobe/Rory Kleinveldt

Guptill and Nicol should open the batting with Brendon McCullum at No.3. Williamson will have to move up a spot because of Ross Taylor's absence. James Franklin should have recovered from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of the Port Elizabeth Test. The allrounder's spot will be decided between Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham and Elliott while one of Neil Wagner or Mitchell McClenaghan could make their ODI debuts.

New Zealand: (probable) 1 Rob Nicol 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Brendon McCullum (capt), 4 Kane Williamson, 5 James Franklin, 6 BJ Watling, 7 Colin Munro/Jimmy Neesham/Grant Elliott 8 Nathan McCullum, 9, 10 and 11 Kyle Mills/Neil Wagner/Mitchell McClenaghan

Stats and Trivia:

  • Despite last playing an ODI in September, South Africa are currently the No.1 ranked ODI team, one point ahead of England. New Zealand are ranked ninth.
  • Paarl, which is one of South Africa's smaller grounds, is hosting its second ODI in as many summers as part of the drive to spread the game. Last January, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 43 at this venue, chasing 302 for victory.
  • New Zealand's are without their top-ranked batsmen Ross Taylor (No.18 overall) and bowler Tim Southee (No.15) because of mismanagement and injury respectively. South Africa's highest places batsman on the rankings is Hashim Amla (No.1) and their best bowler is Lonwabo Tsotsobe (No.4). Both are in the squad.


"For them, the change of format will be quite refreshing. New Zealand have always done well in World Cups, which means their very good at white-ball cricket as a unit. It will be a closer series." South Africa's first-choice spinner Robin Peterson expects the opposition to be more competitive in the fifty-over game

"I'm going to bat at No. 5. That will allow the aggressive guys up front followed by guys who know how to build an innings at 3 and 4." New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum on the re-jigged batting order

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 19, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

atleast india have 2 wc also we won nz 2-0 which followed 2-0 in sa for nz( i thought they were in tests,lol), if odi is not important why more people watch odis than boring tests, also any nz fanboy should zip about claim for respect when ur team is struggling for maintaining its test status which in ideal world wud go to afghanistan for their decent wc showings. my point being that india have all but won its odi and nz can take sa one place down the ranking along with partial relief for their recent thrashings , around the world.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 19, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

gsingh7's comment is just bizarre.

You don't judge international teams even by winning ODI World Cups, and you certainly don't judge them by temporary positions part-way through a 4 year renewal cycle.

Nobody outside the subcontinent judges international teams by anything other than their status in the Test arena. And the only way any team is going to be considered stronger than South Africa is by beating them home and away in Test series.

India's only shot at international respect is to win their Test series in South Africa at the end of the year. No amount of winning ODIs on dead wickets without slip fielders in place is going to impress anyone.

Posted by reversecut on (January 19, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

Where's Trent Boult for NZ, thought he would walk into this team and Wagner and McClenaghan battle for last spot, im assuming that is an oversight??. Hope they go with Watling ahead of Franklin in batting order, or better yet don't pick Franklin at all. He sneaks around NZ cricket smacking the selectors in the head with a sledge hammer engraved with 'liability' on the handle and they still pick him.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 18, 2013, 22:38 GMT)

Kiwis are MUCH better in ODIs. So they are going to be far more competitive, I think the series will be very close.

Posted by Dale_Pain on (January 18, 2013, 21:57 GMT)

Where is Phangiso the 14th man in the squad?

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 18, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

gsingh7: What if the logical happens and neither of those results occur?

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 18, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

nz win and india win tomorrow will take india to top spot in icc rankings , come on team blue and black caps ,make it happen

Posted by   on (January 18, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

@GlobalCricketLover - Transformation, perhaps?

Posted by amit_Ab on (January 18, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

Behardien had awesome t20 companion in which he avg over 64 with strike rate over 150 thats why he is in team. he is a good finisher. (i am not among the fan of him) he was poor in wc. but so was all SA team. for me best team would be in icc champions trophy 2013- de KOCK, AMLA, KALLIS, AB, FAF, JP,ROBIN P,CHRIS MORRIS, M MORKEL, STYEN, TSOSOBE team probably will be this only. some position may change. for me chris morris is quality baller balling over 140kms and can bat a bit. he will be given chance against pakistan(hopefully). this team is having bat up to 8 5 quicks(including kallis) 2 spinner(RP & JP).

Posted by yorkshirematt on (January 18, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

@GlobalCricketLover I'm not south african but I do know that Miller is not in SA's plans at all. Which is annoying for us yorkies as we need him for next season's T20 but may not be allowed as he has not played enough internationals to get a visa (which is a ridiculous rule IMO)

Posted by crashed on (January 18, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

Wishing the Proteas all the luck and winning the series .. .will be overjoyed if we can go 3-0 before the Pakistani's have a try Good luck to all Proteas lets take this one with the same approach you did the tests :)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 18, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

Youre right Firdose it is an anti-climax but isnt everything an anti-climax after watching Test cricket!! When will administrators realise this and do away with these pointless ODIs / T20 and have more test matches instead..

In saying that, the grouds should be full because they are playing these games in lesser known stadiums to develop the game which is good. Another plus factor and the only reason why i watch ODIs is to watch the developing and youth players coming through like Q de Kock. Dont think Smith should be there, Davids is desperately unlucky. Surely rest Dale and Morne....

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (January 18, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

May be SA fans can help me - (a) Is David Miller injured? (b) what does Kirsten see in someone like Behardien? I saw him in T20 WC and the only thing he seemed capable of was destroying any momentum they had while batting.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 18, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

Not sure why Smith is in the ODI team. I would move Faf up to open and De Kock at 3, ahead of AB, then bring in Miller. That way we'd get faster starts and have another boundary hitter for the closing overs, and Smith has never been the best ODI player. He should stick to tests.

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