NZ v SA

1st TEST – NEW ZEALAND VS SOUTH AFRICA – FANTASY CRICKET PREVIEW

After the completion of one-off T20I and five-match ODI series, South Africa tour of New Zealand moves on to test series. The test series which contains three test matches, begins with first test in Dunedin. The visitors have won both one-off T20I and 5-match ODI series by 3-2 and now shifting their focus on long format of the game. At the same time the home team, New Zealand which was dominant in home soil lost their first ODI series after very long time in home and now looking forward to seal the test series and re-gain the proud to their nation. The interesting 5-days match, 1st Test is scheduled to start at 11 AM Local | 3:30 AM IST on Wednesday, 8th March 2017.

 

NEW ZEALAND :

New Zealand was dominant in their home matches for past 2 years and they lost their first home ODI series on Saturday to South Africa after very long gap. After losing both only T20I and ODI series to South Africa, Kane Williamson and co. are in a heavy pressure to win test series and keep their pride alive. Martin Guptill, who brought back New Zealand into the ODI series by scoring unbeaten 180 runs in 4th ODI last week is not named in Test squad. As Guptill wasted all his opportunities in longer format for past 2 years, he was omitted against Pakistan and now against South Africa too. Jeet Raval will open the innings for Kiwis and his partner would be Tom Latham, who was in poor form throughout ODI series against South Africa would look for re-gain his form with the tests. The star batsman and captain of the team, Kane Williamson performed well in almost every match on the tour and he is expected to play a huge part in this first test too.

Experienced batsman Ross Taylor is also in the test squad. He batted well both ODI matches which won by Blackcaps, he contributed with an half-century and century. Lot of expectation on Ross Taylor and he needs to fulfill the expectation to seal the series for his country. Henry Nicholls is in good form for past few months, he played very well in domestic cricket across the formats. He is expected to contribute a lot in the series. BJ Watling would do wicket-keeper’s duty in the series and he is able to contribute with handy knocks too. All Rounders James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner are in the squad to offer with both bat and bowl. James Neesham did not play in the last test when New Zealand played against Bangladesh. But as he proved in test before, he could compete with Colin de Grandhomme for the place in XI. Grandhomme who done well in ODI series, picked only one wicket and got out for golden duck in 1st Innings of last test against Bangladesh. But, his recent form might keeps his place safe in the XI. Mitchell Santner doing a good job for Blackcaps in all three formats. He expects to play key role in Dunedin Test. Among Fast bolwers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner would fulfill the seamers options. All three bowlers were performed so good in tests against Bangladesh. But, they are facing the real challenge in this series as they are facing mighty South Africans in this series. In case, New Zealand decides to go with two seamers or decides to give a rest to Santner, off-spinner Jeetan Patel would gain his place in the playing XI.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

NEW ZEALAND :

Batsmen :

  • Kane Williamson
  • Tom Latham
  • Ross Taylor
  • Henry Nicholls
  • Jeet Raval
  • BJ Watling

All Rounders :

  • James Neesham
  • Mitchell Santner
  • Colin de Grandhomme

Bowlers :

  • Tim Southee
  • Trent Boult
  • Neil Wagner
  • Jeetan Patel

 

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS :

1. Jeet Raval, 2. Tom Latham, 3. Kane Williamson, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. James Neesham / Colin de Grandhomme, 7. BJ Watling, 8. Mitchell Santner, 9. Neil Wagner, 10. Tim Southee, 11. Trent Boult.

 

SOUTH AFRICA :

South Africa is looking forward to the test series with the focus of sealing all 3 series on the tour. As they won both T20I and ODI series already, they wants to dominate in the test series and go back home with 3-0 series win on the tour. Test captain Faf du Plessis was struggled in early half of ODI series, then he regained his form at right time in last 2 matches and looks forward to play key role for his team in the first test. He has plenty of experienced players in his side to support him. Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar are used to open the innings for South Africa throughout the season and both of them would open in the series too. Experienced Hashim Amla struggled a lot in ODI series, but when comes to test cricket expects him to regain his form quickly and help his side to dominate in the test. In last test vs Sri Lanka in January, JP Duminy and Temba Bavuma handled the middle-order roles. As Theunis de Bruyn is in the squad, he might compete with Duminy for the place in XI, as Duminy struggled in ODI series. But, the senior player in the side JP Duminy is expected to keep his place safe once again. Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock who is in best batting form among the group, would play at no. 6 or 7 in down the order. His form is a key factor for South Africa and he needs to live up to the expectation. Heinrich Klassen is also in the squad as 2nd wicket-keeper and he needs wait for his chances.

All rounder Chris Morris is back in test squad after very long time, he played his last test in January, 2016. Now, he is in test squad as he found the fitness after recovered from injuries and did well in limited overs cricket. Morne Morkel who lost almost a year due to injuries is finally back in national squad and he is all set to feature in first test on the tour for his team. The experienced bowler did not offer much in recent domestic matches back in home, but he proved his talents in past and expects him to offer the goods with bowl in the series. Vernon Philander found a place in test series against Sri Lanka after recovered from injuries and he is also in squad for Kiwis series. He is expected to be in playing XI and his all round performances are much needed for South Africans. Wayne Parnell emerged as an all rounder in recent times and performs well in all three formats. He bowled well in last test against Sri Lanka and he may compete with Keshav Maharaj for his position in XI. The only specialist spinner who named in the South Africa squad, Keshav Maharaj done his part so well in Test Series against Australia and he might do the same in New Zealand too. Front-line pace bowler of the side, young Kagiso Rabada turned as a major player of South Africa and he is expected to perform lot better in the first test.

 

KEY PLAYERS :

SOUTH AFRICA :

Batsmen :

  • Faf du Plessis
  • Hashim Amla
  • Quinton de Kock
  • Stephen Cook
  • Dean Elgar
  • Temba Bavuma
  • Theunis de Bruyn

All Rounders :

  • JP Duminy
  • Chris Morris
  • Vernon Philander

Bowlers :

  • Morne Morkel
  • Kagiso Rabada
  • Keshav Maharaj
  • Wayne Parnell

 

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS :

As plenty of bowling options are there, it’s tough to predict the lineups of South Africa. Duanne Olivier is expected to misses out on the return of Morne Morkel. Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander might compete for the place in XI.

1. Dean Elgar, 2. Stephen Cook, 3. Hashim Amla, 4. Faf du Plessis, 5. Temba Bavuma, 6. JP Duminy / Theunis de Bruyn, 7. Quinton de Kock, 8. Chris Morris / Wayne Parnell, 9. Keshav Maharaj / Vernon Philander, 10. Kagiso Rabada, 11. Morne Morkel.

 

Keep Play and Play Well!! Best Wishes to all your Fantasy Cricket Leagues!!

 

 

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