Cape Town - New Zealand have not won a Test against South Africa since 2004, and lost both Tests in 2013 by more than an innings, but paceman Tim Southee feels they are primed to change that poor record.
They will compete in the first Test in Durban this weekend, and with the Proteas not playing a Test since January, and dropping from one to seven on the ICC rankings, the Kiwis are eager to take advantage.
Southee said on the Black Caps' website: "Our history here in South Africa isn't great and we're looking to come over here and perform and continue to grow as a side overseas.
"We've slowly increased but we are still looking to improve as a side especially away from home so this is a big series for that."
One person Southee has been impressed by is fellow paceman Neil Wagner, who was impressive in the series against Zimbabwe earlier in the month, and Southee is happy to have Wagner and other pacers all competing with him for a place.
He said: "For Neil to be the leading wicket taker in the series just shows you how far he’s come as a player. It’s never easy when you are in and out of the side.
"But he’s really grown another leg in the last couple of years and he’s getting the rewards for that effort.
"I think one of the strengths is that we are all a tight group, we are all good mates on and off the field, so it’s a healthy environment.
"Matt Henry and Doug Bracewell are quality bowlers sitting there waiting their turn. It’s healthy competition amongst the group. It’s a good thing to have pushing guys at training and making sure we are all on top of our game."