About the Match
New Zealand is on the verge of having its perfect home record being spoiled this season as they face South Africa in a must-win 4th
ODI. The Proteas will also want to wrap up the series in this match itself and maybe give a rest to some of their senior players ahead of the test series.
4th ODI Preview
The return of Martin Guptill has meant that the Kiwis will have a very familiar and world class name at the top of their batting list. Guptill will slot back at the top of the order, most likely in place of the struggling Tom Latham and hope to hit his stride straight away.
The exit of Latham will also mean that some space has to be created for Luke Ronchi in the lower middle order. Neil Broom, who has not had the returns he would have liked this season could find his head on the chopping block unless New Zealand decides to play with only one of Neesham or de Grandhomme.
This match is being played at Hamilton and the pitch is once again in the focus. The first ODI played on this ground threw up a pitch that spun a considerable amount and eventually required a very special effort from the South Africans to get over the line.
New Zealand has included a third spinner, Jeetan Patel, in the squad for this match and even though it is highly unlikely that all three will play in this match, Sodhi could find himself being replaced by Patel because of the number of left-handers in the opposition.
The runs from New Zealand will have to come from the experienced trio of Williamson, Guptill, and Taylor with the all-rounders chipping in at the end. The New Zealand fast bowlers have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to be a handful even on pitches that are expected to suit the spinners and we think that Southee could be one of the major threats with his fast cutters being bowled into the pitch.
South Africa is looking for two wins from the remaining matches to cement their place as the number one side in the world, although, winning the series would be the first thing on their mind.
A slow, spinning pitch at Hamilton is not ideal for their team’s makeup even if they do have the world’s best white ball spinner in their ranks. Imran Tahir was countered was countered brilliantly by Williamson the last time they played at Hamilton and so Tahir would be keen to set the record straight.
Tabraiz Shamsi is also likely to get another go in these conditions most likely at the expense of Wayne Parnell.
South Africa has enough quality in its ranks to make changes to its bowling lineup without really losing much venom and the emergence of Pretorius and Phehlykwyayo has also added strength to its lower order batting.
A relatively low scoring match could be in the offing and so their batting down the order becomes even more crucial.
The South African batting has continued to fire without any one player really stamping their authority on this series and that is a scary thought for the Kiwis. Back Quinton de Kock to get a fast 40-60 runs before getting out while du Plessis and de Villiers are the other two players we would watch out for to score some big runs.
Kagiso Rabada has questioned the amount of cricket South African players are being made to play and the captain might decide to rest him ahead of the tests. If he does play though then he could be a handful on this wicket.
The toss will have a big bearing on the game with the team winning almost guaranteed to bat first. A score of 260-280 could end up being a winning total in this match.
New Zealand to win and square the series.