Proteas win toss, NZ to bat first

Posted March 16, 2017

Currently‚ the only slow bowler in the visitors' ranks is left-armer Keshav Maharaj‚ who took 5/94 in New Zealand's only innings in the drawn first test at University Oval in Dunedin. A twin-spin attack would appear unlikely - the last time New Zealand did that at the Basin Reserve was in 2000 - which leaves Mitchell Santner vulnerable to either Colin de Grandhomnme, who would be a straight swap at No. 8, or Matt Henry who lengthen the tail.

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (capt), Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Jeetan Patel.

New Zealand's situation is not helped by the loss of batsman Ross Taylor and injury concerns surrounding fast bowler Trent Boult who has until Wednesday evening to prove his fitness.

The left-arm pacer had left the field on Day Four of the Test match after bowling just 15 overs in South Africa's second innings.

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Although neither team has been announced, Boult's long-time new-ball partner Tim Southee, who was dropped for the first Test despite picking 28 wickets in his previous five matches, confirmed he was back in the side.

"It's up to us to put pressure on him and not give him boundaries and easy runs so he settles". They've still got enough resources.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said he also would have bowled had he won the toss, but the pitch looked good after a restricted preparation and batting should become easier after the first hour at the Basin Reserve. "There lies the secret".

South African captain Faf du Plessis, however, could barely contain his excitement at the state of the wicket and New Zealand's injury woes.