Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Proteas ‘desperate’ to avoid historic series defeat against Black Caps

New Zealand are aiming for their first ever Test series victory over South Africa.

Proteas captain Neil Brand says his team are “desperate” to hit back as they gear up for the second and final Test against New Zealand starting in the early hours of Tuesday morning (SA time).

The national team, missing most of their first-choice players due to commitments in the SA20 competition which concluded at the weekend, were thumped by 281 runs within four days in the first Test at Mount Maunganui last week.

The skipper felt they were in a good space, however, ahead of the second match.

“We’ve done a lot of reflecting over the last few days,” Brand said on Monday.

“For us it’s just about keeping things simple. We don’t want to complicate things too much.

“The facilities here are great so we’ve had a good few days of preparation.”

Still confident

Brand admitted they needed to be tighter in the field and better with the bat in hand, but he believed they could turn things around after gaining some valuable experience in the first match.

Though they would probably be satisfied with a draw, the Proteas needed to win the game to prevent New Zealand from securing their first ever Test series victory against South Africa.

Despite turning out as firm underdogs, the skipper said the SA team were confident of putting up a fight.

“We definitely want to come away with something, so we’re desperate to put in a good performance this week and hopefully we can get ourselves into the game.”

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