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New Zealand need response to stop series running away

Match Facts

February 22, 2017
Start time 11.00am local (2200GMT)

The Big Picture

Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult are now significantly richer men after big deals at the IPL. On the flip side, players from both sides - notably Imran Tahir, Ish Sodhi and Ross Taylor - can probably count themselves unfortunate not to have gained any interest, especially Tahir as the No. 1 white-ball bowler. Most players insist they don't take much notice of the auction as it's out of their hands, but it will surely have been a topic of conversation in Christchurch today.

However, of more immediate importance is the second one-day international. Especially for New Zealand who can't afford to go 2-0 down against a South Africa side with 12 wins on the bounce. New Zealand fought hard to almost steal victory in Hamilton, but their top order - save Kane Williamson - was worryingly exposed by Chris Morris. For their own piece of mind, they need a century from someone in the top five.

South Africa were not perfect in the opening match - the death overs were a touch wayward and there were a few loose shots to make the chase tight - but, as confident sides tend to do, they found a way to win. And being put in a few tight corners during this series is probably no bad thing in preparation for the Champions Trophy.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand LWWWW
South Africa WWWWW

In the spotlight

Tom Latham has hit a tricky period with his last three ODI innings reading 7, 0 and 0. He was pinned on nought for ten balls in Hamilton before being trapped lbw by an inswinger from Morris. But he will have good memories of this ground: he made 137 against Bangladesh in December. He also has his second string as wicketkeeper, a role he and Luke Ronchi could alternate depending on the balance of the side.

It was a rare wicketless ODI for Imran Tahir two days ago - his first since South Africa's previous overseas one-dayer, against West Indies in Barbados, back in June - which was followed by not being bid for at the IPL. Neither will worry him much, but it was instructive to see how Williamson quickly tried to stamp some authority over him in Hamilton with a slog-sweep for six. What has the world's No. 1 white-ball bowler got in response? You suspect plenty.

Team news

New Zealand have previously played Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi together at Hagley Oval - against Sri Lanka in 2015-16 - although they were barely needed. The odds favour an extra seamer being brought in although the larger playing-area works in Sodhi's favour. If they retain Latham as keeper, it creates room for another bowler.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Dean Brownlie, 2 Tom Latham (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 James Neesham, 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Ish Sodhi/Lockie Ferguson, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Trent Boult

South Africa will also have to decide whether to retain Tabraiz Shamsi or return to another of their allrounders, either Wayne Parnell or Dwaine Pretorius who is now available having arrived following the birth of his child. David Miller's finger was assessed and he passed a fitness test, but he remains an uncertain starter.*

South Africa (probable) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Andile Phehlukwayo, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir

Pitch and conditions

This is the only day-game of the series, on a ground that has provided some high scores. Five of the nine first-innings totals at Hagley Oval have been over 300 - in the previous ODI, when New Zealand faced Bangladesh, they piled up 341 for 7. The threat of showers has subsided and there is a high forecast of 29 degrees with some sunshine for most of the day.

Stats and trivia

  • AB de Villiers needs 50 runs to become the fastest to 9000 in ODIs, although there is no innings pressure on the feat with Sourav Ganguly's current mark being 228 innings. De Villiers has batted 203 times.

  • This will be South Africa's first international match at Hagley Oval. The last time they played in Christchurch was 2004.

  • In his short international career, Colin de Grandhomme has scored 319 runs off 285 balls across the three formats.

Quotes

"It's just bizarre. A huge honour, but my focus is still heavily on concentrating on the game tomorrow."
Trent Boult is determined not take his eyes off the ball after the IPL auction

"New Zealand don't give you much, they're a seriously good fielding unit and all New Zealand sides seem a close knit bunch of guys and really fight."
Neil McKenzie, the South Africa batting coach, always expected a close contest

*13.20GMT, February 21: The preview was updated after David Miller's fitness test.