We know it’s going to be a step-up – McCullum

BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum, buoyed the recent victory over South Africa A, is excited by the prospect of facing South Africa at home for the first series in five years.

The team wound up their final training today at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead with team well prepared for the first of three Twenty20 Internationals.

“With a big game upon us tomorrow there’s a high level of excitement within the group.  I would definitely say we’re pretty pleased at the moment,” said McCullum.

“They guys have prepared really well, had a good warm-up game the other day were we got to try out some combinations and see some guys in action. 

“Obviously tomorrow is going to be a step up and am really looking forward to it and see it as a huge opportunity for this team.

“We’re not going to take our eye of what’s in front of us because we know it’s going to be a step-up in this series but it was nice to get a confidence booster and get a win early on in the tour and bank that success.

The Twenty20 squad included five uncapped members along with a core or experienced international performers.  

Speaking about the new group, McCullum said: “They’re good, they’re enthusiastic and possess some really good skills which is great and think they’ve fit into the team exceptionally well.  It’s quite nice to have brought them all in at the same time so they can find their feet as one rather than trying to feel their way out on their own.

“There are many unknowns from our point of view but we’re seeing that as some excitement and opportunity for those guys rather than being concerned about knowing exactly about what we’re going to get from them.

“Hopefully that little bit of spontaneity that the new guys can bring for us will add a little bit of punch to our team as well.”

The match starts at 6.00pm local time (Friday), 5.00am New Zealand time on (Saturday) and will be scored live on blackcaps.co.nz.

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