South Africa go into the third and final ODI of the series in Hamilton with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Seddon Park will host the last encounter of the series, after the Bay Oval saw the visitors record two very comfortable victories. There seems to be no stopping the South African machine as it gains momentum ahead of the World Cup in February. Establishing a winning culture in the team’s first priority, and for this reason, there shouldn’t be too many changes for the dead rubber.
New Zealand have a few key injuries, which has left their top order looking vulnerable. If they are going to get anything out of this series, except for a dose of reality after thumping the world champions India recently, their top four are going to have to take responsibility. They are a brilliant fielding unit and possess a disciplined bowling attack. They just need to put the runs on the board to mount a serious challenge to the Proteas, and the only way that is going to happen is if one of the top four bats deep.
Players to watch:
He hasn’t done much in the series, which means somebody as talented as Brendon McCullum must be due a few runs. If he gets going then the Black Caps will stand a chance of finishing the series on a high. For South Africa, Imran Tahir has been the unsung hero. He has delivered two very economical spells, while picking up valuable wickets in the middle order. If he turns in another performance of the same calibre, it will result in another tough day at the office for the Kiwis.
It’s difficult to write any New Zealand team off on home soil, but South Africa have looked in a different class during the first two matches. The Proteas are also working on being more ruthless, and for this reason, they should repeat the 3-0 series score line they achieved during their last visit to the land of the long white cloud.