New Zealand head into the 4th ODI with South Africa on Wednesday 1 March knowing nothing short of victory is needed in Hamilton.
As we get set for the business end, New Zealand are in a must-win scenario to extend their unbeaten home run. But South Africa have just begun to flex their muscles and find their form. This makes the 4th ODI between these sides at Hamilton on Wednesday very intriguing.
Batting worries for the Kiwis
A problem for the Kiwis through the series has been their inability to stitch up runs at the top. The return of Martin Guptill from injury is expected to be an elixir but it would be too much of a risk to expect him to start firing right away. But such have been their problems that the hosts expect a miracle.
Kane Williamson is fighting a lone battle with the bat while the middle order is being inconsistent far too regularly. With the ball, Tim Southee and Trent Boult have showcased their experience with brilliant death-bowling but the Kiwis also need control in the middle overs.
With the pitch expected to take turn and with Jeetan Patel in the squad, there could be a temptation to slot in three front-line spinners although it may just be wishful thinking. But never say never, especially with the Kiwis needing back-to-back wins to continue their run of eight home series wins in a row.
Top ranking in the sights for the Proteas
There’s another story brewing in the Proteas’ camp which require two wins to hold on to their top spot. Of course, they would like to keep things simple and wrap up the series in Hamilton first, to keep their squad fresh ahead of the Test series.
A matter of concern behind that veneer of confidence is the lack of runs and continuity from their top order. Quinton de Kock has been among fifties but was continuously guilty of wasting starts.
Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla too couldn’t score runs in buckets – which they usually do, increasing the pressure on AB de Villiers. Bowling looks consistent and least of the worries for De Villiers at the moment.
Stats & Conditions
The first match of the series here did take spin although this game would be played on an adjacent strip. Another fifty by De Kock will set a new South Africa record of consecutive fifty-plus scores.
New Zealand v South Africa Line-ups
Though there is temptation of playing three spinners, Williamson may stick with two and slot in Jeetan in place of Sodhi. Ronchi will slot in the middle order while Neil Broom may miss out.
Tabraiz Shamsi could come in the place of Wayne Parnell unless Rabada is rested once again.
New Zealand v South Africa 4th ODI Tips and Predictions
The series may have delivered flip-flop results so far but the extent of South African win in the last match will surely worry the Kiwis. At odds of $1.58 (Palmerbet
) the visitors look a safe punt to win.
Williamson’s technique will be required on this pitch and at odds of $3.50 (bet365
) he looks a good pick to end up as the Kiwis’ best batsman. De Kock will be itching to score a big one here and back him at odds of $4.00 (bet365
) to lead the charts for South Africa.