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NZ v SA, Only T20 Preview: Fresh-faced New Zealand aims to begin series on a high

Mitchell Santner of New Zealand
New Zealand team. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

After a few grueling tours and mixed results, both New Zealand and South Africa will be looking to get off the mark in the upcoming tour as both sides seek out wins. However, what has been a feature or will be one for the rest of the tour is that both these teams have been quite successful in their most recent outings. These outings see the Proteas victorious over the mighty Lankans while the Kiwis have been successful against Australia. In somewhat of a double irony, both Sri Lanka and Australia will begin playing tomorrow as well in a short T20I series.

While all this is indeed there for one and all to see, the fact is that New Zealand and South Africa have been quite successful in their cricketing engagements in recent times. This makes the encounter an impressive one and one that will certainly be viewed by one and all across the globe in the grand scheme of things as well. With a few interesting players on the rosters of both sides, this certainly promises to be an exciting encounter.

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Prelude

The prelude to this encounter witnesses both sides on the track to becoming perhaps the most impressive teams this year. With the ICC Champions Trophy also around the corner, it would seem as though they are on the right track as well. AB de Villiers’ return has been something that has been quite good in recent times for South Africa overall, but the epitome is that they have been victorious as well. New Zealand’s recent wins at home against both Pakistan and Australia puts them in arms-length as well, but South Africa’s away form has been simply splendid, something that makes the cricket fan want to watch the matches all the more.

Also read- AUS v SL 1st T20I Preview: Depleted Australia energetic Sri Lanka look to take first lead

The fresh-faced Kiwis

With Martin Guptill missing from the grand scheme of things, 20-year old Glenn Phillips has been roped into the side. While Phillips is certain to make his debut on the day, it is quite clear that the likes of Tom Bruce and perhaps even Ben Wheeler could be involved in the same. This would also significantly ensure that the new wave of players are certainly on their way towards making it a big name in the grand scheme of things for New Zealand.

AB set to make a comeback

AB de Villiers had made his comeback against Sri Lanka after passing a fitness Test. Having made his comeback into the grand scheme of things, the 33-year old will be looking to get back into the groove as well with the ICC Champions Trophy also looming over the horizon. This tour will perhaps provide the best preparation as far as someone like de Villiers is concerned at the moment.

New Zealand

The Kiwis will be without Martin Guptill as the 31-year old is ruled out of the ODI series as well. Young Glenn Phillips will open alongside skipper Kane Williamson with Tom Bruce to bat a lot higher than usual. Colin Munro is expected to take his place back in the middle order as he would be looking to add solidity to a much-needed batting unit that is lacking a few big names.

South Africa

South Africa come into this one without Kyle Abbott after the 29-year old will sit out for the first tour in many a year. This means that a like for like replacement for the same would be Wayne Parnell. He would be complimented by Andile Phehlukwayo and Dane Paterson while Imran Tahir would be expected to miss out. This would also mean that JP Duminy would have to be deployed as the spinner.

Probable XI

New Zealand: 

Kane Williamson (C), Luke Ronchi (WK), Glenn Phillips, Tom Bruce, Corey Anderson, Colin Munro, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee

South Africa: 

AB de Villiers (C), Quinton de Kock (WK), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada

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