Cape Town - Proteas all-rounder JP Duminy insists they have not lost their focus, despite the No 1-ranked one-day team losing their first match in 13 ODIs.
The Proteas fell six runs short of victory in Christchurch on Wednesday, a result which ended their 12-game winning streak.
Duminy feels that although the loss was inevitable, this result could bring a resurgence into the Proteas camp ahead of Saturday's third ODI in Wellington.
"It was kind of inevitable to lose a game and it doesn't put us in a different situation in terms of our preparation," Duminy told the media in Wellington on Friday.
"It's no secret that we're trying to work towards the Champions Trophy, which is a few months away, so it's probably a good thing to go through those losses along the way just to bring us down to earth."
On Wednesday, the Proteas found it difficult to convert starts into substantial contributions as none of the batsmen could finish the job and saw them lose nine wickets in their failing pursuit of 290.
"There are certain things we still have to improve on, especially in our batting unit where nobody in the top six took responsibility," said Duminy.
"A lot of us got in but didn't take it home for the team... and the disappointment lies within ourselves."
Despite coming to New Zealand as the No 1-ranked team and completing consecutive whitewashes against Australia and Sri Lanka, Duminy emphasised that they understood that this ODI series was never going to be easy.
"The Blacks (Black Caps) will always be a team to put us under pressure regardless of the situation," added Duminy.
"New Zealand were always going to be a tough opposition, especially in the shorter formats and when you're playing in their own backyard - it's never going to be easy.
"We've had great success here, but it was never going to be a walkover and they (New Zealand) will complete until the last ball.
"That's something we need to acknowledge and understand that we always need to bring our best game and that's definitely our mindset going into tomorrow (Saturday)."
The series is tied 1-1 with the third ODI taking place on Saturday, February 25 in Wellington (03:30 SA time).