Time: Feb 17, 3.30AM IST
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch
In the last two Tests played at the Hagley Oval, New Zealand managed 659 and 521 in their first innings respectively. However, on both occasions, the tourists failed to cross the 300-run mark even once. Only five wickets have fallen to the spinners over the past three matches.
Kane Williamson will once again miss the series due to his elbow injury. Hamish Rutherford has been brought back into the side.
Probable 11 for New Zealand: Tom Latham (c), Will Young, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Hamish Rutherford/Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wanger, Matt Henry
It remains to be seen if the tourists continue to persist with the seam bowling of Duanne Olivier or opt for the all-round ability of Wiaan Mulder.
Probable 11 for South Africa: Dean Elgar (c), Aiden Markram, Zubayr Hamza/Sarel Erwee, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Wiaan Mulder/Duanne Olivier
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Kagiso Rabada’s 20 wickets were instrumental in helping South Africa beat India at home recently. Although he managed only 8 wickets on his last tour of New Zealand, Rabada will remain the biggest threat for the hosts.
In 12 Tests, Kyle Jamieson has raced to 60 wickets. He has also bagged 22 wickets at the Hagley Oval in only three appearances. Drop him at your peril!
Neil Wagner has been the workhorse for the Kiwis with the ball. He got 12 South African wickets when the Proteas last toured New Zealand in 2017.
Expect the southpaw to test the visitors with his probing spell.
Dean Elgar averages 51.75 against the Kiwis, including the highest score of 140. Elgar scored 265 runs on his last tour to New Zealand.
Devon Conway has already scored 623 runs in five Tests since his debut, including three hundreds and two fifties.
Although Tom Latham doesn’t have a great record against South Africa, he amassed 265 runs in his last Test innings at the Hagley Oval.
Like always, Tim Southee will pose a challenge for the visitors with the new ball. He has taken 23 wickets in his last five Tests at the Hagley Oval.
Marco Jansen experienced a cracking Test debut against India recently by picking 19 wickets. He adds variety and venom to the South African pace department.
The Proteas will bank on Temba Bavuma in the middle-order. He scored 189 runs in five innings on his previous tour of New Zealand.
South Africa have never lost a Test series to New Zealand. Out of seven visits to New Zealand, the Proteas have succeeded on five occasions, including1-0) series win when they last toured in 2016/17.