South Africa v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Potchefstroom January 24, 2013

New Zealand seek rare whitewash


Match facts

January 25, 2013
Start time 2.30pm (1230 GMT)

Big Picture

What's better than a series win in the ODIs for a team that looked lost in the Tests not so long ago? A clean sweep, and that is what New Zealand will be aiming for when they meet a South African side that appears increasingly fragile.

How the tables have turned. No one really gave New Zealand a chance and even the few reporters who had travelled to South Africa left before the series started. But the young side has a number of players who were not part of the Test failures; they showed resilience in the first ODI in Paarl, where the lower order helped the team nick a one-wicket win. The second win was more thorough: New Zealand posted 279 and applied enough pressure on the South African batting to trip them well short of the target.

New Zealand have grappled hard with off-field issues in the past month but the wins have shifted focus from the missing players to those who have performed. Mitchell McClenaghan announced his entry into ODIs with a dream spell in the first game while Williamson recorded a big hundred in the second. However, a few of the bigger names would hope to put up some weighty performances and end the series on a high before England come calling.

South Africa, on the other hand, find themselves in a strange position. They were outright favourites when the series started but lost key players and now the complexion of the team looks very different. No AB de Villiers, no Hashim Amla, a new captain in Faf du Plessis, fast bowlers in rotation, and they now appear to be the team lacking in focus - and are underdogs ahead of the match.

Form guide

(most recent first, completed matches only)
South Africa: LLWLL
New Zealand: WWLLL

In the spotlight

Martin Guptill started the tour with an unbeaten century in a Twenty20 match but hasn't done much since then. He had scores of 1, 0, 1 and 48 in the two Tests and his run got worse with two ducks in the ODIs. His place in the team is likely to come under the scanner ahead of the England tour and this match is his last chance on this tour to reiterate his value.

Graeme Smith is not the captain in ODIs but he would have to be the pillar to keep the shaky batting line-up together. He scored a half-century in the previous match but his run-out triggered a collapse, highlighting the need for someone like him to be in the middle for others to play around him.

Team news

South Africa may consider bringing in Dale Steyn to add zing to the seam-attack, while Aaron Phangiso is likely to make his debut as Robin Peterson was pulled out after splitting his webbing in the second ODI. Dean Elgar, who replaced an injured Amla, is unlikely to feature in the XI.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Colin Ingram, 4 Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 Farhaan Behardien, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Aaron Phangiso, 9 Rory Kleinveldt/Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

New Zealand are unlikely to change their winning combination.

New Zealand: (probable) 1 BJ Watling, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Grant Elliot, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt & wk), 6 James Franklin, 7 Colin Munro, 8 Jimmy Neesham, 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan.

Pitch and conditions

A flat deck is expected in Potchefstroom on what promises to be yet another hot day. The venue has been a happy hunting ground for the home team, who are yet to lose a match here.

Stats and Trivia

  • The last time New Zealand won a three-match series 3-0 against a major team was in 2006-07, when they beat Australia at home.
  • South Africa have never lost all the matches of a three-match series at home.
  • Kyle Mills has more ODI wickets (210) than Morne Morkel (102) and Dale Steyn (96) combined.


"We probably just have to be slightly more aware of what fielders are where. New Zealand have got some outstanding fielders."
South Africa batsman Colin Ingram

"We can't underestimate how big a victory this is and, yes, it as a starting point but it's still important to realise that we looked the giants in the eye and were able to come away with success."
Brendon McCullum says the team is headed in the right direction

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • gurinder on January 25, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    nz should win this and increase gap between sa and india at top of rankings , good luck nz, from indian fans , go for whitewash

  • Sherjil on January 25, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    @C.A-SA1987: I agree with you.I am Indian Fan, but to me, LANCE KLUSENER is the best all-rounder that ever played ODI cricket.I am a big fan of his....and couldn't stop myself to cry when he couldn't win the WC 1999 semifinal against Aus. May be due to that particular loss....he lost a bit of motivation for playing cricket as i never saw the same intensity in him.

  • Joe on January 25, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Firstly, if I'm hearing correctly then the two losses can be attributed to inexperience and resting of players, correct? Look at the facts, in the first ODI the batting "experience" of Amla, Smith and de Villiers all failed with scores of 13, 7 and 7 and the top wicket taker was McLaren (an inexperienced player) who incidentally scored more runs than the three mentioned combined as well as taking 3 wickets. The most experienced bowler (Steyn) took no wickets and scored no runs to boot. Inexperience never cost SA the first game, the three worst performances came from the most experienced players.

    Secondly, the best batter and bowler from the second test were KS Williamson and KD Mills, Kane scored twice as many runs as the top two SA batters combined and at a much better strike rate, Mills gets the nod for being the best bowler because of his economy, Morkel got 3 wickets to Kyle's 2 but that 3rd wicket cost an extra 40 runs, runs that proved too much in the end. SA was outplayed....

  • des on January 25, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    @joewilde: You say: "lets not try and demean the win with the old excuse of "well so and so wasn't playing" that's being a poor sport".

    Perhaps you should go back to the articles on the test matches and see how often Kiwis brought this up as a reason for the test losses? Almost every comment. Let's not have double standards when accusing SA fans of being 'poor sports'. Most of us have congratulated NZ on their wins but we have to question the approach of our team management after a series loss.

  • greig on January 25, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    @DavidNZ The bad news for you is that NZ ODI series after the Test matches wasnt top billing for SA players and fans alike. After the thrashing in the Test series there was a huge anticlimax for the SA players, fans and management alike. You can see this in the way SA went about the games - very scrappy and unmotivated.

    The main job was done, lets get this silly ODI series out the way and focus on Pakistan. Are we bothered about winning the ODI series? No. Do we want to start getting combinations right for finally win some ODI siliverware? Yes.

    My point wasnt to make excuses, it was that I felt McCullum used this ODI series win to wash over some more serious issues in NZ cricket which shouldnt be forgotten and must be rectified. Do kiwi fans want to be rubbish at test cricket and get knocked out of quarter final tournaments? I wouldnt think so.

  • John on January 25, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I think SA is facing the same issue that Australia has right now. Do they give a Big Name a rest during the ODI's and risk losing or just to keep them on the field until they break down? England have rested some players for their current Indian excursion in India. Perhaps this is one of the reasosn they are doing so poorly. Whatever the results, I think fans all over the world will have to get used to this policy.

    Remember, players on the sidelines now have a greater opportunity to step up. This would not happen anywhere nearly as frequently if big names were always chosen. Admit it, we all get frustrated when selectors overlook one of our favourites. Under this scheme our pets get a chance to play!

  • Gavin on January 25, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    As a SA suppporter, I really hope NZ whitewash this sorry looking squad so that the management will start taking ODI's seriously again and pick the best team. Put the best team in, stop worrying about quotas and start thinking about winning every match you can. If you are always thinking about the future, you are never winning today.

  • Gavin on January 25, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    The SA invitational XI looks about as strong as the ODI squad. Might as well have picked them to play NZ in this final ODI.

  • Garry on January 25, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    gridiron_16 Mills no one would say Steyn is a better ODI bowler than Mills,we are are talking ODI's here. Mills has both a better economy rate and average than Steyn and even a better economy rate than Morkle. Mill's isn't a very good test bowler and isn't in the test team.

  • Saidul on January 25, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    South Africa win this match 100%