After suffering back to back defeats for the first time this season, New Zealand will look to go all guns blazing when they face South Africa for the third time in this tour. South Africa grasped a victory off the last over in the rain-truncated ODI. New Zealand's batting looked flat with only Williamson managing a half-century. Cameos from de Grandhomme and Southee down the order powered the hosts to a total of 204 in 34 overs. Trent Boult who was impressive in the only T20I, leaked runs like his fellow teammates and that didn't help Williamson's cause. The hosts would be needing one of the top 5 batsmen to score big. With Hagley Oval being one of the larger grounds in New Zealand, it's expected that Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner will be a part of the playing XI. If Latham continues to keep behind the stumps, there might be room for an extra bowler.
South Africa, on the other hand, leaked too many runs towards the end after an impressive start with the ball. Chris Morris ran havoc, exposing New Zealand's top order but gave too many runs towards the end. The visitors did suffer a middle order collapse losing four wickets for just nine runs before AB de Villiers powered the visitors to a victory. They would be looking to make it 2-0, taking a psychological advantage over the hosts. Their spinners didn't cause much trouble, which is another issue to South Africa will be concerned before heading into the Champions Trophy. Shamsi will probably make way for one of the fast bowling all-rounders, Wayne Parnell or Dwaine Pretorius.
Kane Williamson, who struck a fifty in the first ODI, was the only New Zealand batsman who looked comfortable during his stay in the middle. Williamson will be definitely looking for more support from his teammates and the right-hander hasn't reached three digit figures for quite a while and he will be looking to do so at Hagley Oval, where he hasn't had much success.
Captaincy has made Kane Williamson, Steven Smith and Virat Kohli better players.
Can Joe Root follow suit? pic.twitter.com/j8SsEgex7z
— PA Sport (@pasport) February 7, 2017
Imran Tahir, who surprisingly went unsold in the IPL auctions, will be looking to be among the wickets, after an unimpressive display in the first ODI. The big outfield will help the leggie play with his variations with the New Zealand batsmen thinking twice about going big.
New Zealand XI: Dean Brownlie, Tom Latham (wk), Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
South Africa XI: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (capt), JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir.
Time: 3:30 am IST (11 am Local)
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch.