South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers is looking forward to playing against New Zealand without the burden of keeping wicket, saying he feels too rushed when having to skipper and keep at the same time.
Since Mark Boucher's forced retirement due to injury in July last year, De Villiers has been behind the stumps in all formats, despite his chronic lower back problems. He has now been freed of the gloves, and is eager for a new vantage point.
De Villiers conceded: "I have always felt a bit rushed trying to captain the side and keep wicket. I will probably stand at mid-off and be able to communicate with my bowlers a lot better as well as get a better perspective of the game."
This means 20-year-old keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock will be behind the stumps for all three games, and coach Gary Kirsten was looking forward to seeing if the rookie could become a long-term prospect.
He said: "It is an opportunity to look at a really young 'keeper who has some quality batting ability. He reminds me of a young Mark Boucher 18 or 19 years ago who had exciting batting ability and came through as a 'keeper."
As for needing a 3-0 series victory to retain the number one ODI ranking, De Villiers didn't seem to concerned with that, saying: "We will just take one game at a time, and not worry about rankings.
"We need to build a team for the next World Cup, and we need to produce consistent results. We have to Champions Trophy coming up in June which is a massive tournament for us on the way to the 2015 World Cup."
The first ODI takes place in Paarl on 19 January, followed by games in Kimberley and Potchefstroom.