South Africa will be full of zest when they meet New Zealand in the 4th ODI at Hamilton. After their dominating show in the third ODI at the Westpac Stadium, a string of opportunities is waiting for them. A win in the upcoming game at Hamilton would certainly be a double delight as they would not only end up winning the series but also manage a revenge for the end of their unbeaten streak which came to an end after the loss in the 2nd ODI.
The hosts, who remain unbeaten in a bilateral series at home, need two back to back wins to keep their run of eight home series victories in a row alive. On top of all of it, a series win will also cement South Africa’s place at the top of the ODI rankings.
Star opener Martin Guptill, who was out of action with a hamstring injury since the first ODI against Australia late last month, has recovered and is expected to replace Tom Latham. Latham has struggled, scoring 0, 2 and 0 in the three games so far. Latham’s removal will see Luke Ronchi also coming in to fill the wicket keeper’s role. This would mean another underperformer will have to lose his place. And, in this case, it could be Neil Broom the middle-order batsman who had returns of 2, 2 and 0. Spin could be a factor once again. The pitch offered ‘turn’ way more than expected the last time both teams played at the same venue. Therefore the thoughts of including either one of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi or off-spinner Jeetan Patel would be in the minds of skipper Kane Williamson.
South Africa would keep the squad intact. The probability of spin entering the play will definitely make them think of deciding between Wayne Parnell and Tabraiz Shamsi. But, no big changes are expected despite having problems of their own. They would expect the underperforming duo of Hashim Amla and David Miller to inspire the unit with a satisfying knock. Other than that, there doesn’t seem any big concern. The bowling attack which has the young pair of Kagiso Rabada and Andile Phehlukwayo at the front has been very impactful. Dwaine Pretorius, the medium pacer who is the leading wicket-taker in the series with five wickets in the two games, has also been another bright spot.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson (C), Luke Ronchi, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi/ Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee.
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (C), JP Duminy, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Wayne Parnell/Tabraiz Shamsi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir
- Hashim Amla has scored 6,832 runs, and needs 168 more to become the fourth South African player to reach the 7,000 runs milestone.
- A New Zealand wicketkeeper hasn’t scored an ODI fifty for a span of innings. The last time it happened was on January 23, 2015, when Luke Ronchi made 160 against Sri Lanka. The Black Caps would hope a similar performance from Ronchi on his comeback.
- The match starts at 6.30 IST.
Who said What?
“It’s exciting to be back, it’s been a while. We’ve got two games to win so it doesn’t get much bigger than that,” Martin Guptill
“it’s hard to leave Kagiso Rabada out of the next match, he’s a seriously good bowler and it’s no coincidence that when he’s back in the mix we look a different side. I’ll need to speak to the sports scientists, but we need to manage him carefully,” Russell Domingo