About the Match
They came, they saw, they conquered; that is what the Kiwis have shown in the 2nd T20 match after learning from the mistakes in Durban to draw level in the T20 series. The teams remain at SuperSport Park, Centurion for the first face-off of the one-day series, which begins on Wednesday, 19th August. This will be their first meeting in 50-over cricket since the thrilling ICC Cricket World Cup 2015; the much awaited 1st ODI match can create a sense of thrill and excitement among the spectators at, where the two teams will battle it out for the top place in the ICC ODI Rankings.
The success of the 1st T20 match could not continue for the Proteas as they were thrashed by the Kiwis and in the 2nd match and scored a massive 177 runs, which the South Africans failed to chase and ended up with defeat.
It was an unsteady start wherein AB de Villiers and Rilee Rossouw tried to play too aggressively from the get go and were bowled out quickly; the absence of Faf du Plessis hampered the stability of the batting line-up and they need to do better in the ODI series.
The team was below par with the ball too in the 2nd T20 match; Tahir is back for the ODIs with Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander who provide a complete frontline attack. It will be quite a big challenge for AB de Villiers to take the gloves behind the stumps, bat and captain the side but he has the experience and mettle to come up with a winning strategy. The team’s batting strength also depends on Hashim Amla, who as Jacques Kallis’ successor in the middle order, will do well to build partnerships and keep the scoreboard ticking.
The team learnt its lessons from the defeat at Durban and gave a tough time to the hosts with Williamson and Guptill plundering runs all over the opponent’s heads. They were quite smart with the bowling and took wickets at crucial moments which lead to their victory.
In the absence of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, New Zealand depends on Mitchell McClenaghan, who is highly ranked, followed by Nathan McCullum and Matt Henry who can prove out to be great strengths for the teams in restricting the run-flow of the hosts.
Although the absence of Ross Taylor can be a huge loss to the Kiwis’ batting squad, Williamson’s defensive technique can help the team in scoring big runs once again and dominate the South Africans.
The balance between attack and defense is going to be important for the ODI matches; South Africa can move into third place in the ICC ODI Team Rankings if they defeat New Zealand in the upcoming three-match series however, they rely heavily on the top order to fire and this could be their Achilles heel here. Kane Williamson and Guptill are in very good form and if they can get through the Protean attack, a lot of their job is done in winning the first match of the ODI series on Wednesday