Proteas aim for early impact

2007-11-16 00:00

The hosts won the first Test by 358 runs in Johannesburg on Sunday, which also marked New Zealand's heaviest loss. The second test starts today.

“I want us to bolt the door in the first session,” Arthur told a news conference. “If we can start strong, maybe New Zealand will stutter.

“If we don't start strong and we leave the door open for them, they have the capability to step back in.”

South Africa have shown their confidence by retaining the side that won in Johannesburg. The same team also played in both tests in South Africa's 1-0 series win in Pakistan last month.

However, Arthur said he has issued a warning about complacency after the team's recent winning form.

“A team is at its most vulnerable when it has won, and we've had a fairly successful streak now,” he said. “I've stressed getting our feet back on the ground.”

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said his batsmen expected a hostile reception from South Africa's bowlers. “There's a realisation as a batting side about how aggressively the South Africans are going to come at us,” he said. “We were under no illusions about that before the first Test but we have confirmation on it now. They'll be aggressive and confident after the result in the first Test.”

New Zealand were due to decide their team after their practice session late yesterday.

Vettori said Stephen Fleming, who underwent scans after being struck on the arm while batting in the first test, was likely to play.

The outlook on all rounder Jacob Oram was less positive.

“It's unlikely that he will be able to play,” Vettori said.

“It's a difficult one because Jacob gives us instant balance, batting at six and being able to bowl three.”

Medium pacer Kyle Mills could replace Oram.

The Test is scheduled to start at 10.30 am.

Teams: South Africa - Graeme Smith (capt), Ashwell Prince (vice-capt), Herschelle Gibbs , Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Paul Harris, Andre Nel Dale Steyn , Makhaya Ntini

New Zealand - (from) Daniel Vettori (capt), Brendon McCullum (vice-capt), Michael Papps, Craig Cumming, Stephen Fleming, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram, †Iain OíBrien, Chris Martin, Mark Gillespie, Michael Mason, Jamie How, Kyle Mills, Jeetan Patel.

TV coverage on SABC 3 and SuperSport 2 from 10 am

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