Dubai: South Africa and New Zealand face off for a three-match One-Day International series starting Wednesday (August 19) in Centurion after sharing the Twenty20 International series.
The last time these two sides faced each other was in the dramatic ICC World Cup 2015 semi-final, which New Zealand won with a six off the penultimate ball in Auckland.
However, both South Africa and New Zealand are missing key players from their previous encounter.
New Zealand has been hampered by injuries and player management policy, with many regular players missing out on the tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee have been rested, while injuries have ruled out Trent Boult, Corey Anderson, Ross Taylor and Mitchell Santner. However, New Zealand showed that it is no pushover in the T20I series. After losing the first match in Durban by six wickets, it bounced back to win the second by 32 runs in Centurion on Sunday.
The visitor depends a lot on Kane Williamson, leading the side captain in McCullum’s absence, and will seek an improved performance from its middle order. Williamson and Martin Guptill have been in good form but the starts were not fully capitalised on by a middle order that’s missing the experience of Taylor.
Williamson opened in the T20Is but is likely to return to his regular No. 3 spot, with Tom Latham coming back to partner Guptill at the top.
South Africa, meanwhile, will look to return to winning ways after losing its three-match ODI series against Bangladesh in July. It will miss Morne Morkel and JP Duminy, who are away on paternity leave, but will be bolstered by the return of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir.
Faf du Plessis missed the T20I series with a knee injury and his participation is unclear. South Africa’s top order was among the runs in the T20s but AB de Villiers, its captain, has rued its inability to adjust to an uncharacteristic Centurion pitch in the second T20I, which was slower than normal.
New Zealand is currently third in the ICC ODI rankings, while South Africa is behind by just one point.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Doug Bracewell, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wkt), Ben Wheeler, George Worker.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis, Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, AB de Villiers (capt), Imran Tahir, David Miller, Vernon Philander, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Morne van Wyk (wkt), David Wiese, Dale Steyn.