Auckland: World Cup memories set to rekindle as strong Proteas take on formidable Kiwis in T20 at Eden Park, Auckland on Friday.
It is ironic that South Africa start their full series in New Zealand with a T20I on Friday at the very ground where they suffered the massive heartbreak in the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup.
New Zealand required 5 from 2 balls when Grant Elliott - a South Africa-born, to give the turn of events that extra twist -- smacked Dale Steyn out of the park to guide New Zealand to their maiden World Cup final.
Two years on, many of the protagonists are not around. Brendon McCullum has quit; Elliott has retired from ODIs and has not played T20Is; and Steyn is nursing a career-threatening injury.
Most of the regular South Africans were absent in their last T20I assignment against Sri Lanka last month where Farhaan Behardien had led a young and inexperienced side to a 1-2 defeat.
Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock are set to resume their roles as openers with birthday boy de Villiers, du Plessis and JP Duminy to follow.
For host, Martin Guptill’s unavailability will be a big blow to the Kiwis. The 20-year-old Auckland opener Glenn Phillips has been drafted in the squad and is expected to play.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips (wk), Luke Ronchi (wk), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ben Wheeler.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, JP Duminy, David Miller, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dane Paterson, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Friday February 17, 2017
Start time 1900 local (0600 GMT)