David Miller says South Africa do not view the tour against New Zealand as a ‘revenge series’ for what happened at the World Cup.
South Africa and New Zealand face each other in the first of two T20 internationals on Friday for the first time since the Black Caps defeated the Proteas in the semi-finals of the World Cup in March this year.
However, the tour has lost some spark since several first-choice players have been withdrawn from the New Zealand touring party.
Brendon McCullum and Tim Southee are being ‘rested’ for the tour, while Ross Taylor, Trent Boult and all-rounders Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santner are all injured. Kane Williamson is the stand-in captain.
JP Duminy has been given an extended period of paternity leave and has been withdrawn from the two-match T20 International series as well. He will not be replaced in the squad. Duminy and Morne Morkel will both miss the ODI series.
South Africa are coming off a disappointing tour to Bangladesh where they won the T20 series but lost the ODI series 2-1.
‘I suppose everyone’s minds will go back to the World Cup, but this series is not about getting revenge for what happened there,’ Miller said.
‘We are both very competitive teams. Our main objective is to try and win as convincing as we can. Everyone, at the back of their minds, is thinking about the T20 World Cup next year; everyone wants to play in a World Cup.
‘The conditions here are completely different to the conditions in India, but we want to win as many games as possible leading up to the World Cup and be as high on confidence as possible.’
One of the players who will be looking to continue the good start he made to his international career is Kagiso Rabada. The young fast bowler is very mature for his age and says he relishes the challenge that awaits.
‘We can’t underestimate anyone. New Zealand are a good team even without those players missing. We will need to be at our best,’ said Rabada.
He holds ambitions to play Test cricket, but in the meantime is just happy to play for South Africa.
‘The dream is to play for your country, but Test cricket is the ultimate format for me. It’s where your true game is tested.’