• Proteas will name best XI

    Proteas captain AB de Villiers has said that the selectors will pick their strongest possible XI during the series against New Zealand.

    Dominating the the No 7 ranked Black Caps is a golden opportunity for the Proteas to climb up the ICC Reliance ODI rankings. A repeat of the 3-0 series win they achieved on their last visit to New Zealand will lift the Proteas to the summit of the world rankings.

    ‘Winning comes first,’ said De Villiers of squad rotation. ‘We want to win as many games of cricket as possible leading up to the World Cup. We know that there is a lot more value to winning games than experimenting and trying out different combinations.

    ‘It would be nice but if we are dealt with a situation where we are able to play all 15, that would be great. We have eight ODI’s all together in New Zealand and Australia, and in eight games you should use more than just 11 players, so hopefully without trying too much it will happen that way.”

    De Villiers went on to say that there will be ‘no holding back’ in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand starting in Tauranga starting at 11pm (SA time) on Monday night. The Proteas enter the series on the back of a triangular series triumph in Zimbabwe, preceded by a series victory in Sri Lanka.

    ‘The feeling I have in my team is that there is no holding back,’ De Villiers said on Monday afternoon. ‘We gave it our absolute best in Zimbabwe; we will do the same here, against Australia, and against the West Indies back home.

    ‘We know that it’s valuable to get confidence going into the World Cup and to get everyone into good form. You can’t play around 60 or 70 percent waiting for the World Cup to come, there is no space for that.’

    In medical news, Wayne Parnell is the only serious injury concern ahead of the first match and will not be available for selection. He continues to make good progress with his shoulder injury, and is likely to be fit for the second match on Friday.

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