South Africa looks set to collect another drubbing with a severely under-strength squad clearly out of its depth. With World Test Championship points at stake, New Zealand shouldn’t be at all complacent.
New Zealand v South Africa
New Zealand haven’t lost a Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton since their 2012 defeat at the ground at the hands of a much stronger South African side.
To Win Match
New Zealand 1/6 | Draw 7/1 | South Africa 12/1
To give his nagging foot ailment more time to recover, Daryl Mitchell will miss the T20I series against Australia as well as the second Test against South Africa.
New Zealand will lose a little batting firepower but considering the form of Kane Williamson and Rachin Ravindra, they shouldn’t have a problem in that department.
The hosts have seen Canterbury bowler Will O’Rourke join the squad in Hamilton as planned and he might be in line to make his Test debut.
Tim Southee was disciplined but probably the least threatening of the New Zealand bowlers and could be the man targeting a big improvement
South Africa’s least threatening bowler would be harder to pinpoint with experience in the Test realm not helping Dane Paterson and Duanne Olivier make an impact.
David Bedingham was also the only batter who showed anything close to Test quality in that first Test loss.
Neil Brand made himself useful with part-time spin but the skipper needs to contribute with the bat to get this team rolling.
There were far too many starts that weren’t cashed in on for the Proteas batsmen in the first Test and they will be targeting some improvement.
Verdict: New Zealand 1/6
The hosts should win comfortably against a South African outfit who appear wholly out of their depth.