The Standard Bank Proteas bowlers will have to be creative in the way they adapt to the Eden Park field dimensions in the one-off T20 International against New Zealand on Friday. The multi-purpose venue, which houses straight boundaries of between 45 – 55m, will pose a unique challenge to the bowlers, all of whom - except for Imran Tahir - will be making their debuts at the ground.
Proteas fast bowler, Chris Morris, says the attack will have to plan accordingly to counter the boundary dimensions and conditions, with weather forecasts predicting some rain on Friday evening.
“It’s my first time in New Zealand and it was a bit of a shock to my system when I got here yesterday to see the straight boundaries,” he admitted to the media in Auckland on Wednesday. “Every stadium has its own dynamics that we have to get used to so we will put the training in today to try and hit certain areas. It does change it a little bit but you have to adapt to every field that you play on.”
Morris enter the series full of confidence following his career-best figures of 4/31 in the fifth Momentum ODI against Sri Lanka last week. He emphasised the need to start the tour strongly given the short turnaround of the schedule and the washed out T20 warm-up match on Tuesday.
“It has its positives,” Morris said of the rained-off match. “We would have liked to have played but in saying that we have played quite a lot of cricket in the recent weeks so it was quite nice to relax, to get the body going in the gym and to get a bit of a rub from the physio. It was a blessing in disguise, that is how I’d like to look at it.
“We have to keep it basic,” he stressed. “We have all accepted the fact that it is going to be a quick turnaround, we knew that we wouldn’t have the usual recovery time coming here on a tour. We have a no excuses policy; we knew there was going to be a bit of jetlag which we got over quickly but as soon as the game starts we are there.”
The Proteas’ last outing at the venue ended in a dramatic four-wicket loss to the hosts in the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final in 2015, but they do take some consolation of winning the last T20I between the two sides in 2012. The match is scheduled to start at 19h00 local time.