Conrad certain SA ready for New Zealand

Proteas coach Shukri Conrad is convinced that his side has covered all the bases and is ready for the challenge that lies ahead against New Zealand.

The Proteas are engaged in the first of two Test matches against the Kiwis, which got underway in the wee hours of this morning at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui.

Conrad might have brought a severely weakened squad to New Zealand but he is confident that his team will prove more than a challenge.

Batting all-rounder Neil Brand, who is yet to play an official Test for the Proteas, leads the squad that includes the likes of Khaya Zondo, Zubayr Hamza and David Bedingham.

“We have really prepped well for this tour with an A series against the West Indies A and the time spent here in New Zealand already where the facilities have been nothing short of brilliant,” said Conrad.

“We are happy with where we are at and have a good feel amongst the group. We are as well prepared as we are ever going to be.”

Conrad insists his side is well motivated for the series as it looks to preserve South Africa’s immaculate record against New Zealand, having never lost against the Kiwis. They will also be eager to collect a few World Test Championship points that will be up for grabs with the
Proteas currently in second place.

“I think we spent a lot more time watching and getting inspiration from the (Proteas) women beating Australia for the first time and then watching Bafana Bafana beat Morocco in the Afcon,” added Conrad. “It gives us a little bit of confidence.”

The Proteas will be wary of former Kiwis Test captain Kane Williamson, who has recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered during the T20I series against Pakistan last month.

“He (Williamson) is one of the top five batsmen in the world, Maybe the fact that he hasn’t played much cricket recently can be advantageous,” said Conrad.

“But we are not singling out Williamson because they have many good batters. We hope our bowlers can challenge them.”

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