Dane van Niekerk. © Getty Images

South Africa are set to take on New Zealand in a three-match ODI series which are part of the ICC Championship. Dane van Niekerk, skipper of South Africa, feels it’s important to start the series on a positive note and get off to a winning start.

South Africa have been in Auckland for a week, and have got used to the conditions by playing two warm-up games. In the second warm-up game against Auckland Hearts, South Africa managed to get over the line by 27 runs with Sune Luus scoring a hundred and picking up a couple of wickets. Apart from Luus, Laura Wolvaardt and Trisha Chetty, too, had decent outings. Van Niekerk sounded confident of how the squad has shaped up and feels the team is ready for the battle.

“The preparations have gone very well, we can’t ask for anything more to be honest,” said the Proteas skipper, who is making a comeback.

“The last few days we had a really good practice game where the team got a chance to spend some time in the middle and will say that the team is very well prepared. Hopefully we can come into the series and start well. It is important that we start on a good note because it is a very short series and we can get some confidence going into the T20 series as well.”

The first ODI will be played on Saturday (January 25) at Eden Park Outer Oval, a ground where New Zealand have made a habit of winning games on the back of solid performances in recent times. New Zealand will look to keep their record safe when they take on South Africa in the first ODI.

“I saw the pitch today and looks like a good pitch that will be a good batting surface. I see It lasting pretty much for the fifty overs. Slow bowlers always have a role to play in fifty over cricket. Hopefully our batsmen can capitalize and make some runs.” she added.

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