Wellington - Bowling coach Shane Bond is calling on the New Zealand cricket team
to use their instincts in the absence of any real knowledge about many
of the South African players they'll come up against in the three-match
Twenty20 series, starting in Durban on Friday.
According to the stuff.co.nz website, while there is very much a new look to the New Zealand squad, with
five of the 15 players having been uncapped at international level,
South Africa have also selected a radically different team to that which
will play the two Tests and three one-day internationals.
Captain Faf du Plessis and bowlers Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and
Robin Peterson are the only frontline Test and one-day players in the
squad, though New Zealand fans will recognise the likes of hard-hitting
opener Richard Levi and left-armer Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who had some
success in the shorter forms when the Africans toured these shores
earlier this year.
Bond admitted they knew little about some of the South Africans, but
they had taken the opportunity to pore over what footage they do have,
and scan the SuperSport channels, to do as much scouting as possible.
"We get little bits of footage from the Champions League (which was
held in South Africa) so there's a chance to sit down and have a look at
some of the guys, but the footage isn't vast," he said.
"We're lucky we've got SuperSport, we've been able to flick through
the seven channels and have a look at the range of (domestic) cricket
games that are going on. It's given us a bit more insight.
"But for our guys, it's just about using our instincts on the field
and getting a real quick feel and being able to adjust quickly. That's
what Twenty20 is about, summing up the conditions quickly and the
players you are playing against."
The hosts will no doubt have also been scrambling for footage of the
likes of Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Derek de Boorder, Corey
Anderson and Colin Munro, and Bond said in that sense there was an even
"Both of the sides probably don't know a lot about each other, so in
terms of that element I wouldn't say a psychological advantage rests
with either side. It's just going to be about who plays the best
He also felt the "even" nature of Twenty20 cricket meant other
factors such as the gulf in rankings between the two teams would be