About the Match
New Zealand has been excellent at home this summer and will look to continue their record against the best travelers in world cricket. The New Zealand-South Africa test series promises to be hard fought and as intriguing as the ODI series that preceded it.
1st Test Preview
For all the knockout matches that New Zealand seems to have won against South Africa, the fact of the matter is that their bilateral record against the Proteas is absolutely abysmal. New Zealand has only won 4 test matches in its entire history against South Africa and their last victory came 13 years back in 2004.
That being said, this New Zealand side has consistently surprised people by their performances and have the ammunition to spring a surprise at home. The batting unit will be reshuffled and there will be no Martin Guptill, who does not find a place in the test team.
Jeet Raval will open the batting alongside Tom Latham, who is struggling massively with form right now. Raval has a tight technique and likes pace on the ball and could be one of the surprise packages for New Zealand in this match.
Kane Williamson will, of course, be the mainstay of this batting and we back him to get a hundred in his preferred format of the game. Ross Taylor too has been reinvigorated after his eye surgery and will be looking to continue with his good form.
Back him to get a fifty plus score as well.
In Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner, New Zealand has a soft lower middle order that could be exposed by South Africa.
The bowling will be led by Boult, Southee, and Wagner with support from one of the all-rounders. We think that Wagner’s short pitched style bowling will be less effective against South Africa and Tim Southee could be the main threat with the late swing he generates.
Back Southee to be the top wicket taker in this match for New Zealand.
Likely Playing Eleven
1 Tom Latham, 2 Jeet Raval, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Colin de Grandhomme, 9 Neil Wagner, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Trent Boult.
There will be plenty of new faces for South Africa from the One Day side that just won the series and that will ensure that there is no tiredness around the group. Dean Elgar and Stephan Cook will return to the top of the order while Temba Bavuma, Vernon Philander, and Keshav Maharaj will also find their place in the team.
Morne Morkel will also be making a comeback after a prolonged injury layoff and it will be very interesting to see how he goes.
We are not huge fans of either Elgar and Cook, even though both of the players can be bloody minded enough to fight through adversity. Their unconventional techniques, however, make us back the New Zealand bowlers to get them out quickly on most occasions.
Hashim Amla has been flying a little bit under the radar for quite some time now and even though he managed one hundred against Sri Lanka at home, his form has not been the best. New Zealand could have an opportunity to get him out quickly as well.
The real strength of this batting order is in du Plessis, Duminy, Bavuma and de Kock. Du Plessis is our pick to get the highest score for the visitors while we would back de Kock to get some big runs as well.
The bowling will be led by Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander, who could be a real handful in possibly helpful conditions. Back Philander to be the highest wicket-taker for South Africa.
Likely Playing Eleven
1 Stephen Cook, 2 Dean Elgar, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Temba Bavuma, 7 Quinton de Kock (wk), 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Kagiso Rabada
Pitch and Conditions
The Pitch at Dunedin can sometimes appear greener than it actually plays. A lot also depends on the overhead conditions. We think there will be plenty on offer for the fast bowlers, though.
We genuinely believe that there is plenty of opportunity for New Zealand to be able to topple this South African lineup and that there are weaknesses to be exposed.
Back New Zealand To Win
Winner: New Zealand, 3.25 @ Bet on New Zealand now