Despite the absence of key players – Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum, Trent Boult – from the New Zealand team, the Black Caps have other quality players to take on the South Africans in the first T20 match of the series at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday.
Players such as Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Grant Elliot need to take the major share of batting responsibility and deliver for New Zealand. The Black Caps might have come fresh from a series win against Zimbabwe in the ODI and T20 series, but facing South Africa is a different ballgame altogether.
Similarly, South Africa must be a confident unit, having defeated Bangladesh in the T20 series, though they lost the ODI series. But one should remember that defeating Bangladesh in their home soil was not easy.
South Africa's skipper Faf du Plessis is proud of the way his team played against Bangladesh.
"I think with the T20s people thought it was just something that since we were playing Bangladesh we should beat them comfortably but looking back at the tour, for us it was quite tough in those conditions and to have beaten them two-nil and quite convincingly, I am very proud," ESPN Cricinfo quoted du Plessis as saying.
The T20 format is batsmen-dominated and the hosts have an array of batsmen who can entertain the crowd in Durban. David Miller, du Plessis, Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers are known for ripping apart bowlers.
Pitches in South Africa are mostly sporting, which calls for a good contest between the bat and ball.
New Zealand have a formidable bowling line up, with Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenghan expected to lead the attack.
Both the nations will be using the T20 series as a perfect opportunity to prepare for the 2016 T20 World Cup in India next year. They might use various formations and players as well to gear up for the World Cup.
Some New Zealand and South African players will also be eager to cement their place in the T20 side, especially George Worker, Colin Munro (NZ) and Rilee Rossouw, Kyle Abbott (SA).
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson looks the other way round and believes the Black Caps have a different approach.
"Whenever you get an opportunity to play for your country, you can push for a permanent spot but that's not how the culture works in our team. It's more about looking to contribute to a team performance, a team win and that's where we want people playing their games," said Williamson.
Anyways, New Zealand will be eager to take a 1-0 lead in the best of two-match T20 series, which will be followed by an ODI series.
Where to Watch Live
South Africa vs New Zealand 1st T20 has been schedule for 6pm local time (9:30pm IST, 5pm BST, 12pm ET) start, with live TV coverage in India on Ten Cricket with live streaming option on tensports.com.
Viewers in South Africa can watch the complete action on Supersport CSN with live streaming here, while Pakistan cricket fans can watch the game live on Geo Super Live.
US viewers have the luxury of watching the South Africa vs New Zealand 1st T20 live on Willow TV with live streaming option on Willow TV Online.