South Africa v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Potchefstroom

New Zealand seek rare whitewash

The Preview by Devashish Fuloria

January 24, 2013

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

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

Farhaan Behardien looks back after becoming one of five run outs, South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Kimberley, January 22, 2013
South Africa have gone from being favourites to underdogs © Associated Press

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

RSS Feeds: Devashish Fuloria

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by gsingh7 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

Posted by SherjilIslam 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.

Posted by joewilde 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....

Posted by SurlyCynic 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.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa 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.

Posted by StarveTheLizard 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!

Posted by Smahuta 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.

Posted by Smahuta 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.

Posted by StevieS 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.

Posted by HelmetBoy on (January 25, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

South Africa win this match 100%

Posted by TheGamerX on (January 25, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Yes, SA look a bit rugged but certainly not underdogs and they will be hard to beat. Having said that I wish the Kiwis complete the whitewash, they deserve some success and glory after several failures in recent past..

Posted by priceless1 on (January 25, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

funny to see what has happened to mismatch series now :D

Posted by mudhabir on (January 25, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

@shane-oh Taking nothing away from NZ but to be fair SA weren't outplayed by NZ. It was some poor cricket which led to their downfall and these defeats are unacceptable.They will surely raise their performance in the 3rd ODI and show u what they are.

Posted by Nick636 on (January 25, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

@ Shane-oh

What I think gridiron_16 is pointing out is that it's pointless pointing out a stat like that. It is something that wouldn't surprise anyone WITH ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE GAME would simply assume that was the case as Mills has played so many more games than Steyn and Morkel and BECAUSE he is such a good bowler. Why are you so ready to take someone else's trivia and discard gridiron_16's?

I don't think there was any bitterness or disrespect to Mills in the comment at all, just pointing out the flaws of the trivia.

All that said, I think South Africa's performance in the ODI's was inexcusable, though with SO MANY key players rested, it didn't really surprise me. What did, was the lack of action after the first game. CERTAIN players SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PLAYED! Also, the match ban of a captain is a joke. The captain (and team) is trying to focus on winning a match. Management should be charged with keeping an eye on over rate.

Posted by youfoundme on (January 25, 2013, 3:59 GMT)

While I think it's great that we have the chance to whitewash South Africa, it still doesn't mask our woeful performance in the Test matches. Personally I consider this ODI series a dead rubber. South Africa are far from their 'A' team and New Zealand are missing 3 or 4 players that will slot straight back in when they are fit or ready to return. Whatever progress that is being made will disperse by the time England reach our shores, and talk of rebuilding will continue when we lose at home as well.

It may be negative talk, but our "cricketers" and "managers" need to start performing their duties if they want the backing and support of the public. A few surprise wins here and there isn't good enough, the sooner they realize AND ACT on that, the better.

It's not all glum on this tour though, I am pleased with the likes of Dean Brownlie, BJ Watling and Trent Boult. Hopefully they don't fall victim to poor management.

Posted by vrn59 on (January 25, 2013, 3:29 GMT)

SA are certainly not quite the team they are in ODIs as they are in Tests. The inconsistencies in performance and selection and the constant 'experimentation' methods such as the floating middle order and half-strength fast bowling attack make little sense to me. Their ideal ODI XI would be Smith and Amla as the opening pair, Kallis, de Villiers, du Plessis, Duminy and Ingram / de Kock in the middle order and Peterson, Steyn, M Morkel and Tsotsobe with the ball. It is understandable to rotate Steyn and Morkel, but not on a match-by-match basis as it disrupts a bowler's rhythm. Although this team has underperformed of late, Amla and de Villiers are ranked among the top ODI batsmen, and Tsotsobe, Morkel and Steyn among the bowlers. The team does not lack quality, but rather clarityommitment (to short-form cricket as a whole).

Posted by whofriggincares on (January 25, 2013, 2:30 GMT)

My grandfather always said "take pride in all that you do" . The kiwis have every right to be proud of beating the saffers . Just as the saffers have the right to be proud of belting them in the tests. @shane-oh great comment regarding the lack of grace shown by the likes of tommy tucker, when they win it is the most important thing in the world, when they lose we get a load of excuses blah blah blah , and the line that odi's dont matter . The great windies teams of the eighties and the all conquering aussies treated every match they played as if it were life and death. maybe thats why SA has spent so much time being ranked 2nd and not first? And that is why this SA team although very talented will never be compared to the two great outfits of the past.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 25, 2013, 2:05 GMT)

shane-oh: I haven't seen much 'vitriol' towards the Kiwis, 95% of SA supporters including me have posted comments on this site congratulating NZ on the wins. The only real negativity from SA supporters has been towards team management for their selections and rotations, which I think would happen in most countries after a series loss.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

@grid_iron16. Umm... for starters, its not a statement, It's a fact. Facts aren't 'misleading'. They are facts.

Posted by joewilde on (January 25, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

TommytuckerSaffa - " SA chose to rest key players and trying some inexperienced players and combinations while NZ ODI team was far more experienced" So I guess by that you are saying SA isn't full strength? Well news flash, neither is NZ, we have 4 key players out at the moment Southee, Ryder, Vettori and Taylor. The fact is SA put out an international team and got beaten.... twice, regardless of who they put out on the field, they still represented SA, 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.

Also, the comment you made about SA "showing that they do in fact care about this ODI series" is laughable, do you think that a proud cricketing nation such as SA doesn't care about ODI, that the players administrators and most importantly the fans do not care that SA got beaten?? Are they not hurting? Oh yes they care I know a lot of SA's living in NZ and they are hurting bad. You played and got beaten, accept it.

Posted by DavidNZ on (January 25, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa: I am so sick an tired of South Africans blaming their losses on missing players (not just this page but so many others). Um... Hello? New Zealand are missing some of their best players too (Ryder, Taylor, Southee and even Vettori)!!

Cricket is just like every sport; it is just as much about what happens off the field than on the field. SA chose to rest Kallis because he is old. Amla is injured. Duminy is injured. De Villiers was suspended because his captaincy was lacking. I'm not sure why some proven SA players weren't selected for the game but that's cricket.

Posted by C.A-SA1987 on (January 24, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

@Posted by shane-oh on (January 24 2013, 22:22 PM GMT)

Unfortunately, some of us took the loss personally. We hold our cricket team to very high standards and expect nothing less than victory, with every match. I would imagine that this is similar to the expectations that you guys have of your All Blacks.

The passion can sometimes be misinterpreted as "sour grapes", so a pinch of salt is required at times.

Nevertheless, Mills is a quality ODI bowler. He has great control of the ball with a wide variety in his arsenal. Our Proteas though, seem to lack that "canny, streetsmart" bowler.

People may only now start to realize what a LEGEND LANCE KLUSENER IS/WAS/WILL ALWAYS BE!!!

We make a big noise about what a legend Kallis is (and indeed he is), but i always felt that Zulu got the rough end of the stick when Graeme came in. We really need a "Klusenser"!!!

Posted by corzaNZ on (January 24, 2013, 22:32 GMT)

@Gridiron_16.... chill out dude, everyone knows Mills isn't that good, all they are trying to say is Mills has more wickets than Morkel and Steyn combined, which is true..... you didnt need to compare it to test matches, ODI and test cricket are totally different, Mills is a joke in test cricket so comparing him to Steyn and Morkel is a no contest. Just accept South Africa lost and stop trying to justify South Africa based on there test records cause everyone knows how good they are at that form of the game

Posted by shane-oh on (January 24, 2013, 22:22 GMT)

@ gridiron_16 - I think you've gone and got yourself a little bit worked up over not much there, my impression was it was just meant to be a little bit of random trivia rather than a commentary on who was a better bowler, because anyone with knowledge of the game would know that Mills has played a lot more ODIs. Of course having said that, Mills has spent a lot of time ranked number 1 in the world, and is always there or thereabouts, for a reason, which is that he is an extremely good ODI bowler, one of the best in the world in fact.

Boy, it's interesting reading the vitriol from a few SA supporters now that they have been beaten by a useless team that we have been told shouldn't even be allowed to play at the top level. When us Kiwi fans were suffering, we took it on the chin and admitted we were being massively outplayed. It wouldn't hurt you lot to show a little bit of integrity.

Posted by Ravendark on (January 24, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

@gridirion: You miss the point. I don't think the author is seriously suggesting that Mills is a better bowler than either Steyn or Morkel. It's highlighting how little ODI cricket Steyn and Morkel have actually played.

It's just an interesting statistic. You don't need to read so much into it.

Posted by gridiron_16 on (January 24, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

" Kyle Mills has more ODI wickets (210) than Morne Morkel (102) and Dale Steyn (96) combined." ---> this statement is so misleading. That's because Mills has played more games than Morkel/Steyn combined. If you combined both of their stats, they would have taken 198 wickets in only 126 matches = 1.57 wickets per games played. Mills, at the same time, only achieved a wicket/match rate of 1.47.

Now do a proper comparison and you'll have to agree that Mills is not as good as Morkel/Steyn.

If you take a look at their test number, Morkel/Steyn are even more impressive:

Mills 44 wickets from 19 tests = 2.3 wickets/test Morkel 171 wickets from 47 tests = 3.6 wickets/test Steyn 312 wickets from 62 tests = 5.0 wickets/test

Posted by kc69 on (January 24, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

Way to go Kiwi's.I hope this is a good wake up call for SA ahead of Pak series.

Posted by slasher on (January 24, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

Its fantastic to win the series against the odds, however I do think SA lost the last match rather than NZ winning it, 5 run outs?? come on!, however it is what the NZ team needed, a bit of confidence, I just hope it isn't another false dawn and they have found their fighting spirit again after a few years of no grit

Posted by speakall on (January 24, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

I hope NZ do complete a whitewash, but it still seems like a big ask to me. I like B McCullum batting down the order, and cannot understand why he doesn't in tests. I also hope Guptill performs with the bat, he really should be doing better than this. As for SA, they are still a powerful team and with a lot of ODI this year I thought I heard Kirsten say they need to do better - now would seem like a good place for them to start. I also think the bowler rotation policy is crazy! After all, they were not asked to do too much bowling in the test series.....if NZ do win, it will give a bit of momentum to the England tour, which they really do need.

Posted by Sean76 on (January 24, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

What are you on about? NZ is involved in whitewashes all the time...

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 24, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

always believed that mills was highly under rated in world cricket this series he has proved his value once again :)

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 24, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

"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."

I think McCullum is getting a little to over-excited here. After NZ was humilated in the test series, SA chose to rest key players and trying some inexperienced players and combinations while NZ ODI team was far more experienced. I think McCullum is using this declaration to save his skin from the press and public for when he returns to NZ and claims the tour as being a "success". Hardly, the difference between the teams was for everyone to see 2 weeks ago.

Hope SA pull finger and show the New Zealanders some respect by showing that they do in fact care about this ODI series by saving some face and winning the final ODI!!

Posted by C.A-SA1987 on (January 24, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

@Posted by Paras.Rishi on (January 24 2013, 15:09 PM GMT)

As a South African, your statement is sad but true.

We place WAY too much pressure on our players.

But thats no excuse for underperformance.

Indian players have real pressure. They cant seem to respond in tests, but they get it together in odi's.

Posted by Alive2cu on (January 24, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

Australia - Rotation policy - Just able to draw the series against Srilanka England - Rotation policy - Lost to india South Africa - Rotation policy - Lost to Newzealand What they are trying to achieve with it, I do not know.. Well I m sure they even dont know themselves what they are trying to achieve.. in order to prolong the careers of some star players so they remain available to you to WIN you matches in future?? Then whats the sense in losing matches at present???

Posted by Batmanindallas on (January 24, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

I always like Kiwis they do play as team whether they win or lose. I am rooting for them

Posted by JosephSunlight on (January 24, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Arguably the worst SA ODI team I have seen since admission! Faf from being dropped in England to captain? He has done well in the Test arena but his ODI record is just poor! SA has also hardly played any cricket this season and they are getting plagued by injuries, this has never been an issue in the past so why now?

Posted by Paras.Rishi on (January 24, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

South Africa remains one of the worst ODI team at home!

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

NZ must keep their focus and be determined to make a point to the cricket world. Unlike Sri Lanka who would lose focus and give away the series without going for the extra kill, NZ may well be capable of making it 3-0 tomorrow. Their morale is for sure at an all time high. But Saffers are for sure determined to regain pride as it will be embarassing for them to suffer an ODI whitewash at the hands of the black caps especially at home.

NZ should send Guptill down the order as he is totally out of form.

For SA, I really want Quinton De Kock to score because if he fails, he will get dropped for a while. For a bloke averaging 59 means he has to be excellent.

Potchefstroom is hardly used from what I see for ODIs so I would be clueless about the place. I respect SA a lot but I would like NZ winning because they deserve more wins after going through many losses in the recent past.

Posted by mudhabir on (January 24, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

Being a SA fan , this series is a humiliation. I agree NZ is a good ODI unit but SA must have won this series atleast 2-1,instead they are at a point where whitewash seems inevitable and they doesn't seem to care about it.This needs to be addressed because test is not the only cricket happening.If you are a greatest, you have to dominate all forms of cricket which they are not paying attention to at the moment.They need to place their best XI on the field.Rotation of fast bowlers and resting key players is hurting SA badly.The flexibility in the middle order is good but they are experimenting a bit too much with it. Managing workload and giving chance to youngsters is the only thing SA is focusing at the moment.

With Champions trophy up for grabs shortly,I would like to see the best SA XI take the field against PAK in the ODI's.

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