New Zealand, Brendon McCullum, The Federal, English news website
New Zealand players celebrate during a World Cup match. File Photo/PTI

Will New Zealand vs South Africa be a one-sided game?

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It has been more than 10 days that the New Zealand team has put their foot on the ground to play. Their previous clash against India was abandoned due to rain which means more time to make strategies and added net practice. However, after three loses in the very first week, South Africa seems to playing in a virtual knockout game.

The Kiwis will take on the Proteas in Birmingham on Wednesday (June 19) at 3 PM IST and the battle would be for South Africa to win their first of the last four matches to be able to survive in the running to semis. As for New Zealand, they would want to retain their number 1 position on the points table and not lose to South Africa that’s on a losing streak.

The match may turn out to be just like March 24, 2015 as 12 of the 22 players who played that night would be around for this one. However, a defeat to New Zealand will hamper their smooth-tour for the top four as they are yet to face the bigger competitors.

Some showers are expected around noon, but would only stay for an hour. Only minor delay is presumed. For this is the first game in Birmingham, the pitch doesn’t have grass but it might have captured moisture underneath. Looks like a batsman’s pitch but spinners can change the game in the middle overs.

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South Africa

Bowler Lungi Ngidi is fit to come back in action and would be replacing Beuran Hendricks. No other changes in the XI are expected.

Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir

New Zealand

Skipper Kane Williamson will have a hard time taking decisions as they would want to play the leg spinner Ish Sodhi as the Proteas struggle against wrist spin. With Tim Southee fit to make a comeback, he might have chances of getting selected too.

Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi/Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

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