New Zealand host South Africa in the second of the five-match One Day International series at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Wednesday. The hosts, after being crushed in the only Twenty20 International on 17 February, went down in the ODI series-opener in Hamilton by four wickets on Sunday.
In the rain-reduced match, South African pacer Chris Morris decimated the hosts' top-order to restrict them to 207 after which the visitors rode on Quinton de Kock's aggressive 69 to complete a thrilling chase.
New Zealand, after suffering back-to-back series losses on the road to India and Australia, got back to form at home beating Bangladesh and then their Trans-Tasman rivals. However, they have been pushed to their limits so far by the visiting South African team, who are looking invincible after whitewashing Australia and Sri Lanka in their last two series.
Despite having an all-round bowling line-up, Tom Latham's poor run (a total of 7 runs in his last three international outings) and Martin Guptill's injury has affected their batting unit and the pressure on skipper Kane Williamson to deliver is growing. Veterans Ross Taylor and Neil Broom, who failed in the previous ODI, need to stand up and deliver if the hosts are to stand a chance at the Hagley Oval, where big scores are a common phenomenon.
On the other hand, South Africa will look to continue their winning momentum and get closer to another series win, which would send a strong signal to other teams ahead of the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy. The return of AB de Villiers has boosted the ODI unit and the aggressive batsman once again chipped in with a crucial, quickfire in Hamilton.
New Zealand: Sky Sport 1
Australia: Fox Sports 2
South Africa: Supersport
UK: Sky Sports
MIddle East: OSN Sports
Possible XI: Brownlie, Latham (wk), Williamson (c), Taylor, Broom, Neesham, Santner, Grandhomme, Southee, Boult, Sodhi
Possible XI: Amla, De Kock (wk), Du Plessis, De Villiers (c), Duminy, Behardien, Morris, Parnell, Phehlukwayo, Rabada, Tahir