Southee: Kiwis better prepared for unknown deck

New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee feels the Black Caps will put on a better performance in the second ODI against South Africa, having had the first game to get used to the new venue.

The Proteas won by six wickets at Mount Maunganui, only the second time an international had been played there. Neither side knew what to expect, so the 230 the Kiwis posted was not nearly enough.

Southee said on Thursday: “We know what the wicket is like now. We were entering the unknown a little bit on Tuesday by batting first and not knowing what a good score was.”

Southee missed the first game with a shoulder injury, but is expected to play on Friday. Aside from that, the Kiwis are missing Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, while the selectors are being careful with the bowlers.

The paceman added that caution was justified: “You want to play every game, but we also realise that we have to be smart. There’s a lot of cricket to be played this season.

“You never like losing, especially after the cricket we showed last summer it was a disappointing way to start.

“But it’s been a long time since we last played One-Day cricket and we haven’t played a lot of cricket in the last few months. So they’ll be better for the hit out.

“We are missing a couple of players but that just gives others a chance to step up and show what they are made of and hopefully you’ll see an improved side out there tomorrow.”