Jacob Oram and Scott Styris, the New Zealand allrounders, have recovered from their injuries and will play in the second ODI against South Africa at Cape Town. Oram, who picked up a groin injury in the first game, will play purely as a batsmen while Styris will get his first chance on this tour, after being laid low by a hamstring problem.
New Zealand, who choked in the final stages of the first game and lost by a two-wicket margin, also included Hamish Marshall and Jeetan Patel, the offspinner, for the crucial clash. Marshall, who made 16 from 40 deliveries in the first game, has had a torrid time with the bat and will need to rediscover the superb form he displayed last season, when he was named New Zealand's batsman of the year.
John Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, said that the Supersub will be picked before the game. He also cited injuries to key players as the reason for the reverse at Bloemfontein. "We definitely didn't plan that Nathan Astle would be one of the bowlers," he said. "If Styris and Oram play, the bowling strength of the teams would be very evenly matched, no matter the type of pitch. We don't have a lot of depth in New Zealand cricket and when both of our allrounders are out of action, the balance of the team is disrupted."
South Africa, though, have no such worries and were likely to stick to the same winning combination. Graeme Smith, their captain who will be looking to set a new South African record of 11 consecutive ODI wins, didn't read too much into the victory at Bloemfontein and insisted that New Zealand were still the firm favourites to win the series. "I know that New Zealand consider themselves a small country [in terms of cricket] but they always give the big guns a run for their money," he said. "They beat India in Zimbabwe last month and also beat us 5-1 in New Zealand last year."
New Zealand 1 Stephen Fleming (capt), 2 Nathan Astle, 3 Lou Vincent, 4 Craig McMillan, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Brendon McCullum (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori, 9 Andre Adams, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Shane Bond, 12 James Franklin
South Africa (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Boeta Dippenaar, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 Hereschelle Gibbs, 5 Ashwell Prince, 6 Mark Boucher, 7 Justin Kemp, 8 Shaun Pollock, 9 Charl Langeveldt, 10 Nicky Boje, 11 Andre Nel, 12 Makhaya Ntini