SA to be ruthless against New Zealand

South Africa will be ruthless in the second Test against New Zealand after securing their biggest win in the first match, cricket coach Mickey Arthur said on Thursday.

The hosts won the first Test by 358 runs in Johannesburg on Sunday, which also marked New Zealand’s heaviest loss. The second Test starts on Friday.

”I want us to bolt the door in the first session,” Arthur told a news conference. ”If we can start strong, maybe New Zealand will stutter. If we don’t start strong and we leave the door open for them, they have the capability to step back in.”

South Africa have shown their confidence by retaining the side that won in Johannesburg. The same team also played in both Tests in South Africa’s 1-0 series win in Pakistan last month.

However, Arthur said he had issued a warning about complacency. ”A team is at its most vulnerable when it has won, and we’ve had a fairly successful streak now,” he said. ”I’ve stressed getting our feet back on the ground.”

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said his batsmen expect a hostile reception from South Africa’s bowlers. ”There’s a realisation as a batting side about how aggressively the South Africans are going to come at us,” he said.

”We were under no illusions about that before the first Test, but we have confirmation on it now. They’ll be aggressive and confident after the result in the first Test.”

New Zealand were due to decide their team after their practice session later on Thursday.

Vettori said Stephen Fleming, who underwent scans after being struck on the arm while batting in the first test, was likely to play.

The outlook on all-rounder Jacob Oram was less positive. ”It’s unlikely that he will be able to play,” Vettori said. ”It’s a difficult one because Jacob gives us instant balance batting at six and being able to bowl three.”

Medium-pacer Kyle Mills could replace Oram. — Reuters

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