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New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first against South Africa in the third ODI © Getty Images

Potchefstroom: Jan 25, 2013

South Africa will take on New Zealand in the third One-Day International (ODI) at Potchefstroom on Friday. The hosts have lost the series after two consecutive defeats in the first two matches.

Nothing much has gone right for Gary Kirsten’s men in the shorter format of the game.They have not been able to carry forward the form in Tests to the other versions of the game and have also lost the coveted No. 1 rank during the duration of the ODI series.

Their plight has not been helped with the suspension of their regular skipper, AB de Villiers and the absence of Hashim Amla and Robin Peterson due to injuries. With Jacques Kallis also missing out, the top-order lacks the spark and quality that has made this team unassailable in Tests.

Coach Gary Kirtsen has admitted that the performances has not been up to scratch but insisted that patience is the key as the team looks ahead with a long vision plan. “It’s not nice (to have lost the series). I don’t think we’ve played very well, but we’ve acknowledged that. It’s amazing how quickly things change in cricket. I think we’ve taken a lot out of it,[so] it’s important for us to fulfil a longer term vision. You need to take a few steps back,” Kirsten said.

South Africa have a proud record of having never lost a match at Potchefstroom and they would want this record to remain the same after Friday’s encounter.

A camp which was simmering with discontent at the start of the tour wears a more relaxed atmosphere as the visitors seek to end their tour on a new high.

The Kiwis were always expected to be more competitive in the shorter formats of the game but they have perhaps surprised even their biggest supporters by winning the series with a match still to play.

The visitors have made light of the absence of several of their top stars as the newcomers have more or less made up to some extent. Kane Williamson, regarded as one of the best future prospects to emerge showcased his ability in the second match but it has been more of a complete team effort from Brendon McCullum‘s boys.

Bowling coach Shane Bond wants nothing short of a 3-0 whitewash as he seeks some salvation from what has been a tough tour. ‘Two-nil is a great result for us but 3-0 will be even better, especially after the tour we have had, ‘ Bond was happy to admit.

Teams:

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Graeme Smith, Colin Ingram, Farhaan Behardien, Faf du Plessis(c), David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Rory Kleinveldt, Dale Steyn, Aaron Phangiso, Lonwabo Tsotsobe

New Zealand: BJ Watling, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Grant Elliott, Brendon McCullum(c & wk), James Franklin, Colin Munro, Nathan McCullum, Jimmy Neesham, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan

Catch ball-by-ball updates and live commentary of the third ODI between South Africa and New Zealand at Potchefstroom