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Wednesday February 28, 2024

NZ focused on process ahead of second SA Test

The Black Caps romped to a 281-run victory in the first Test at Mount Maunganui last week

By REUTERS
February 13, 2024
New Zealand players celebrate together after taking a wicket. — AFP/File
New Zealand players celebrate together after taking a wicket. — AFP/File

HAMILTON: New Zealand could hardly not be confident of sealing their first series triumph over South Africa in 72 years of trying when they take to the field at Hamilton’s Seddon Park for the second Test on Tuesday.

The Black Caps romped to a 281-run victory in the first Test at Mount Maunganui last week and all the factors that contributed to that comprehensive win remain in play this week.

Foremost amongst those is the yawning gap in experience between the two sides after South Africa Cricket decided to send a weakened team and prioritise their financially lucrative Twenty20 competition.

New Zealand captain Tim Southee has resolutely refused to engage on the subject of his team potentially making a little bit of history this week and said the prospect had not been discussed in camp.

“We obviously had a great week last week. And like every Test match our focus has been on our preparation over the last couple of days,” he told reporters on Monday. “It doesn’t change who you play or what Test match.”

There will be changes to the home side, however, as Daryl Mitchell will miss the match and the Twenty20 series against Australia that follows with a foot injury. Will Young will come into the middle of the batting order to replace him, while rangy paceman Will O’Rourke was included in the squad for this Test only and could make his Test debut.