The BLACKCAPS are preparing for a warm-up Twenty20 ahead of the three match series starting in Durban on 21 December.
Spinner Ronnie Hira is expecting a hard-fought series with both teams introducing a number of new faces. The BLACKCAPS uncapped group includes Corey Anderson, Derek de Boorder, Mitchell McClenaghan, Colin Munro and Jimmy Neesham.
“We’ve got five new faces and South Africa have four new faces so it will be a good closely contested series,” said Hira.
“With new guys coming in it leaves out some senior guys, so gives them a chance to grab the opportunity. Hopefully they bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
“We played them [South Africa] at home earlier in the year and ran them close in the Twenty20s and hopefully we can bring some of that out here and give them a good run for their money.
“They’re coming off a hard series against Australia so they’ll be cricket ready and hopefully we can hit the ground running.”
The first training was used to acclimatise to conditions while Hira is also using his recent experience from the Champions League to plan ahead.
“It’s pretty hot out here today and the boys have blown out the cobwebs and got a good sweat on.
“This is the only ground we played at when we were here with Auckland. We go to Port Elizabeth and East London and I haven’t been to those two places but there’s not a lot of turn out here for spin bowlers.
“Nathan and myself will have to sit down and try to come up with a way to stay in the park and not get hit for six.
“We’ll be training hard during the week. We’ve got a practice game and are looking forward to next Friday under lights."
The warm-up match against a South African selection is on December 18 at Pietermaritzburg.