ODI World Cup 2023: New Zealand’s strongest predicted playing XI against South Africa

Oct 31, 2023

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New-Zealand-and-South-Africa. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

New Zealand (NZ) are set to face South Africa (SA) in the 32nd match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The Kiwis made a promising start to the tournament with four consecutive victories, firmly establishing themselves as contenders for a semi-final berth. However, recent losses to India and Australia have complicated their path. To secure a spot in the semi-finals, they must now triumph in at least two of their remaining three matches.

In their upcoming clash, New Zealand are bracing themselves for a formidable South African team. The game is scheduled for Wednesday at the MCA Stadium in Pune. South Africa’s current form presents a significant challenge. Consequently, New Zealand must field their strongest lineup to compete effectively. 

Here’s New Zealand’s Predicted XI against South Africa:

Openers: Will Young, Devon Conway

With Kane Williamson absent, Will Young assumes the opening position for New Zealand against South Africa. This right-handed batter has been in fine form, seizing the opportunity admirably. Young has accumulated 173 runs at an average of 34.60 in the tournament, consistently providing strong starts. His role holds vital significance, particularly against South Africa’s pacemen, as he has the potential to secure a steady, wicket-free beginning for his team.

Devon Conway emerges as the linchpin for New Zealand in their clash against South Africa. This consistent left-handed batter consistently churns out runs at the top order. Conway is acutely aware that this contest is a must-win, and his team relies on his performance. With 277 runs to his name at an impressive average of 55.40 and a strike rate of 104.92, he shoulders a vital responsibility.

Middle Order: Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham, Glenn Phillips

Rachin Ravindra has displayed exceptional form in this tournament. The left-handed batter poses a credible threat to South Africa due to his ability to construct substantial innings. With an impressive tally of 406 runs at an average of 81.20 and a strike rate of 107.69, Rachin has indeed been a force to reckon with at the tournament.

Daryl Mitchell is in close pursuit of the tournament’s leading run-scorers. His role within the Kiwi middle-order is pivotal, as he excels in anchoring the innings and prolonging the game. Mitchell has accumulated 322 runs at an impressive average of 80.50 so far. His proficiency against pace bowlers adds to his importance, making him a key asset against South Africa in the upcoming clash.

Tom Latham, serving as the interim captain of New Zealand, has impressively balanced his leadership and playing responsibilities in Kane Williamson’s absence. His seasoned presence instills confidence in the top-order batsmen, knowing he can steady the ship in case of early wickets. With 147 runs and two half-centuries to his name, Latham aims to guide his team to victory in this crucial encounter.

Glenn Phillips played a pivotal role in New Zealand’s resurgence against Australia, claiming three crucial wickets while conceding only 37 runs in a high-scoring match exceeding 750 runs. Phillips is a versatile and astute cricketer known for his game-changing abilities in both batting and bowling. With 126 runs and six wickets in the tournament, he remains a valuable asset who can turn the tide in his team’s favour in any situation.

Also Check: Most Runs in ODI World Cup 2023

All-rounders: James Neesham, Mitchell Santer 

James Neesham played a vital role in New Zealand’s pursuit of a record chase, scoring 58 runs from 39 balls against Australia. Though his dismissal came at an inopportune moment as New Zealand fell short by a thin margin. This all-rounder’s versatility extends to both batting and medium-paced bowling, providing a valuable asset to the team. His brisk batting style and ability to trouble batters with his medium pace make him a valuable contributor in both facets of the game.

South Africa’s progress may be impeded by Mitchell Santner. With 14 wickets to his credit in this crucial phase, Santner boasts an impressive economy rate of 4.90. His ability to stifle the opposition and make scoring challenging renders him a formidable challenge for the Proteas, potentially disrupting their rhythm.

Bowlers: Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Matt Henry, while having an off day in the last game, remains a potent force in the bowling department. His overall performance has been commendable, amassing 11 wickets. Henry’s crucial task is to initiate well with the ball, aiming to scalp early wickets. By doing so, he can effectively apply pressure on the South African middle-order, potentially tilting the balance in New Zealand’s favour.

Also Check: Most Wickets in ODI World Cup 2023

Lockie Ferguson, a pace powerhouse, is a potent threat to any batting lineup. He has clinched eight wickets in the tournament and can be particularly menacing on a sluggish Pune pitch, generating tricky deliveries that challenge batters. Hitting the correct areas is crucial for him, as it could spell trouble for the South African batting order, potentially leading to their downfall.

Trent Boult, despite a slow beginning, has found his rhythm in the tournament. With nine wickets to his name and an economy rate of 5.18, he displayed his class by clinching three crucial wickets in his last over. Recognized as one of the premier bowlers, Boult’s potential to extract early swing could place New Zealand in a commanding position right from the outset.

New Zealand’s Probable Predicted XI:

Will Young, Devon Conway,  Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (C, WK),  Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

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