Bridgetown:Post-league stage, the minnows are out and it's time the cricket giants clash for supremacy. The undefeated New Zealand team clashes with South Africa in the second Group E match of the Super Eights in Bridgetown on Thursday.
New Zealand had won both their league matches against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, but their wins came on the slow tracks of Guyana. Daniel Vettori and Co. will have to adapt quickly to the bouncy pitches of Barbados. It will be interesting to see if they go with an extra pacer against the Proteas. The bounce at the Kensington Oval should bring smile on Shane Bond's face.
However, the Kiwi batsmen will have to adapt quickly to the conditions as the South African pace can prove to be quite testing. The Proteas won against Afghanistan on Wednesday after losing their first league match against India. It's highly unlikely that they will change their playing XI. While the bowlers have down a decent job, their batting has not really lived up to the reputation. Jacques Kallis is in good touch and it's important that other batsmen chip in too.
Morne Morkel, who was wrecker-in-chief on Wednesday, has the ability to hit the deck hard with speed, and this makes him a dangerous prospect. He too was upbeat after the win over Afghanistan. "Hitting the deck hard is my strength and I'm preparing for the games ahead as well so it was about doing the basics right," he said.
South African coach Corrie van Zyl, on the other hand, refused to take New Zealand lightly. "The New Zealand team is always a dangerous team in this format and we haven't got a lot of time to prepare. We have to rest well then hit our straps from the start," he said.