Cricket teams claim to spend almost as much time on analysis and strategy as they do in the nets. Now we know, at least in South Africa's case, it's true. The team's bowling plan, which includes notes on the areas to bowl, the use of the bouncer and the death-overs plan for each New Zealand batsman, was leaked in a case of mistaken identity on the eve of their first ODI in Centurion.
The document, which was addressed to Dale Steyn, was slid under the door of another hotel guest, Cassandra Teasdale, who shared it on Facebook. Teasdale posted an image of the document with a cheeky message: "Something tells me I was not supposed to get the South African cricket team's plan/strategy to the New Zealand team batsman and bowlers under my hotel room door... I wonder if this means Dale think he is sleeping in my room tonight?.."
The South African team's media manager, Lerato Malekutu confirmed to Sport 24 that the incident "is true, unfortunately," but AB de Villiers did not think it would make too much difference to his bowlers' approach. "They enjoy being under pressure anyway," he said at the toss, where Kane Williamson shrugged off the story.
South Africa have identified Williamson as someone who "attacks" but "doesn't pull well", and prefers to "drive on the up through the covers". They plan to bowl "bouncers angling in" if he is around at the end of the innings. Other batsmen they hoped to attack with short balls are Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Colin Munro and Luke Ronchi. Jimmy Neesham, who according to the New Zealand Herald offered Teasdale tickets to the match, was written about as an "lbw option".