Chris Morris says the Proteas are ready to take on NZ on Friday, despite a hint of jetlag among the side.
Morris will be full of confidence, following his career-best figures of 4-31 in the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka last Friday, and he will look to take this momentum into the series against the Black Caps.
After arriving in New Zealand on Monday, the Proteas’ warm-up match was rained out on Tuesday, giving the squad an extra day of rest.
The abandoned warm-up match, according to Morris, could work out as a blessing in disguise.
‘It has its positives,’ Morris said of the rained-off match. ‘We would have liked to have played, but in saying that we have played quite a lot of cricket in the recent weeks, so it was quite nice to relax, to get the body going in the gym and to get a bit of a rub from the physio. It was a blessing in disguise, that is how I’d like to look at it.
‘We have to keep it basic,’ he stressed. ‘We have all accepted the fact that it is going to be a quick turnaround, we knew that we wouldn’t have the usual recovery time coming here on a tour. We have a no excuses policy; we knew there was going to be a bit of jetlag which we got over quickly, but as soon as the game starts we are there.’
The unique boundary dimensions at Auckland, which has straight boundaries of between 45 – 55m, will challenge the bowlers who have not yet played at the ground. Imran Tahir is the only bowler to have played at Auckland and he will have to help the Proteas build a plan to deal with the boundary dimensions and conditions, with weather forecasts predicting some rain on Friday evening.
‘It’s my first time in New Zealand and it was a bit of a shock to my system when I got here yesterday to see the straight boundaries,’ Morris admitted to the media in Auckland on Wednesday.
‘Every stadium has its own dynamics that we have to get used to, so we will put the training in today to try and hit certain areas. It does change it a little bit but you have to adapt to every field that you play on.’
The Proteas will look for their second consecutive T20I win against the Black Caps in Auckland, after beating them in a T20I in 2012 at the ground.
Proteas ODI squad: AB de Villiers (Titans, ODI capt), Faf du Plessis (Titans, T20 capt), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Quinton de Kock (Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Imran Tahir (Dolphins), David Miller (Knights), Chris Morris (Titans), Wayne Parnell (Cape Cobras), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Dwaine Pretorius (Lions), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans).