By CricketCountry Staff
Dunedin: Mar 6, 2012
After losing the T20Is and getting whitewashed in the ODI series against South Africa at home, New Zealand will look to look to turn the corner against the Proteas.
The Kiwis had blanked Zimbabwe out in all three formats, but their weaknesses were masked because of the poor form of the opposition. All these frailties came out against a far superior outfit.
Only Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill were among the runs against the South Africans. The fielding was below par and the bowling looked piecemeal at best.
The Tests offer a new leash of life to the Kiwis who will look to forget the recent drubbing. They will be boosted by the return of Ross Taylor who was out for nearly a month due to injury.
His presence will make the middle order solid. Kane Williamson has shown that he is a solid player in this format and he will be a vital cog in the NZ middle order.
Rob Nicol, who has had a good start to his ODI career opening the innings, will hope for something similar on his Test debut.
South Africa have fewer problems. They were wonderful in all disciplines in the ODI series and they will be favorites heading into Dunedin. Graeme Smith will come back to lead the side and he will look to get going after missing out two ODIs due to injury.
Their middle order looks the strongest at the moment with the likes of Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy.
South Africa: AB de Villiers(c), Mark Boucher(wk), Hashim Amla, Marchant de Lange, Jean-Paul Duminy, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Alviro Petersen, Jacques Rudolph
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum(wk), Ross Taylor(c), Doug Bracewell, Andrew Ellis, Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol, Tim Southee, Kane Williamson, Brent Arnel, Trent Boult, Chris Martin, Kruger van Wyk, Daniel Vettori, B Watling