Last week, spinners Mitchell Santer, Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra caused a lot of problems for the South African batters, so much that Proteas batter Keegan Petersen admitted the visitors’ struggles against the spin of the trio.
Chances are, captain Tim Southee might opt for an additional pace option for the second Test seeing that the conditions in Hamilton promise to offer the quicks a lot more than what the wicket at the Mount Maunganui did in the first Test.
At least that’s what Proteas batting coach for the tour, Imraan Khan, is anticipating from the opposition this week having spent the past three days practising in Hamilton.
“We are expecting it to be a little quicker than it was in the first Test but I do think it will be a good wicket,” Khan said on Sunday.
“Having looked at the conditions it probably might do a little bit with the new ball but end up being a good wicket again.
“They still have two seamers in the squad, Neil Wagner is there as well along with the new boy (William O’Rourke).
"So it will be interesting to see what combinations they will put out. I do expect them to put in an extra seamer, whether that involves Santer missing out, we’ll have to wait and see.”
With or without one of the three spinners, the inexperienced Proteas bating unit will need to do a lot more than what they did last week to put the team on course to level the series and protect South Africa’s unbeaten record against the Black Caps in Test series’, home and away.
Khan said the batting unit only need to trust their plans at the Seddon Park on Tuesday where the second and final Test is scheduled to take place.
“Test cricket is brutal. If you are not completely switched on, if there’s a little bit of anxiety, it can expose you,” said Khan.
“There was a lot of emotions going into the first Test for a lot of our boys. We had six guys on debut and guys returning to the Test arena.
Some good signs
“Having said that, if I look at our batting performances across both innings’, a lot of our guys in that top-six managed to get a starts, so that’s a positive.
"I think we just really have to trust our processes for an extended period of time and I’m pretty sure that will give us the reward that we are looking for.”
Proteas Test Squad:
Neil Brand (Captain), Edward Moore, Raynard van Tonder, Zubayr Hamza, David Bedingham, Keegan Petersen, Clyde Fortuin, Ruan de Swardt, Duanne Olivier, Tshepo Moreki, Dane Paterson, Mihlali Mpongwana, Khaya Zondo, Shaun von Berg, Dane Piedt.