New Zealand are on the cusp of winning the series and reclaiming the mantle of number one in the world in Friday’s second Test against South Africa.
A draw in Christchurch would give New Zealand a historic first series win against South Africa in 17 attempts, while the win would not only complete a 2-0 series sweep, but would also put Australia at the top of the table. top the world rankings.
The infamous bowl-first green wicket at Hagley Oval was a happy hunting ground for New Zealand with eight wins from 10 tests
But Kyle Jamieson – who has taken 24 wickets in four Tests on the ground – said winning the toss was not necessarily an advantage.
“If we hit first, we’ve been through some tough times and come out the other side, so while it’s a bit important I don’t think it necessarily determines the outcome,” he said.
New Zealand won the toss in the first Test, rolling South Africa for 95 and 111, while scoring 482 in their lone at bat.
Downplaying the importance of the toss, Henry Nicholls, who scored 105 in New Zealand’s colossal innings-and-276-run victory, said familiarity with the ground was important.
“From a batting point of view, we know it’s difficult, but when you have that experience, that’s the advantage of home field advantage,” he said.
New Zealand have maintained the same squad for the second Test which left no room for Trent Boult, who missed the first Test before the birth of his third child, and offered another chance for Matt Henry.
Henry produced the third best bowling record in New Zealand Test history with seven for 23 in the first innings, took two more in the second innings and hit an unbeaten 58 with the bat.
Rather than hang their heads after the first Test, South Africa turned back the clock on their New Year’s series against India, where they lost the first Test and bounced back to win the remaining two.
“It’s about reminding the guys that we have overcome a lot as a team,” said Temba Bavuma.
“We know what it’s like to come back, what it’s like to come from behind when we have our backs against the wall. We have what it takes from a character perspective to do what we have to do.”
The batsman 41’s second innings was the highest South African score in the first Test, and the side looks for something bigger in the next Test.
After 102 unbeaten against England in his seventh Test he has failed to reach three figures in 41 Tests since then.
“I’m not disappointed in myself, but the team is in a space where we need someone to raise their hand and do it for the team. As good as my form has been lately, until then it’s still a concern for the team, so I won’t be happy with myself.”