NZ vs SA prediction: Who will win the 1st Test?

New Zealand v Bangladesh - 2nd Test: Day 3
New Zealand v Bangladesh - 2nd Test: Day 3
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New Zealand and South Africa will square off in the first game of the two-match Test series from Thursday, February 17. Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the match.

New Zealand, without their regular skipper Kane Williamson, have struggled a bit in the purest format of the game. Tom Latham has been standing in for Kane, who's still recovering from an injury. Latham is also set to lead the Kiwis against South Africa.

Back in November-December, the Kiwis lost the two-match Test series against India. Ajaz Patel became the third bowler after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble to get a 10-wicket haul in an innings, but his effort went in vain as the home team won the game comfortably.

The Black Caps didn't start 2022 on a great note as Mominul Haque's Bangladesh beat them by eight wickets in the opening Test at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. Ebadot Hossain's six-wicket haul blew the visitors away in the second innings.

In the second Test, Latham's double century helped the hosts draw level in the series. They won the match by an innings and 117 runs. Going into the matches against the Proteas, the odds are not in favor of the Kiwis by any stretch of the imagination.

Out of 45 Tests, New Zealand have beaten South Africa only four times. Even as they lost 25 games, 16 matches ended in draws. The Proteas, on the other hand, must be high on confidence after beating India 1-2 in the three-match Test series.

They didn't make a great start to their red-ball campaign after losing the opening Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. However, the hosts drew level in the series with a seven-wicket Test in the second game at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

In the third Test, the Proteas won by the same margin to clinch the series. Their bowlers, especially Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada, picked up wickets in heaps.

Will New Zealand (NZ) beat South Africa (SA)?

South Africa v Sri Lanka - First Test Day 2
South Africa v Sri Lanka - First Test Day 2

South Africa have a power-packed bowling attack at their disposal and it won't be easy for the Black Caps to tackle them. The hosts will depend heavily on Latham and Conway, especially after Ross Taylor's retirement. South Africa will go into the game as the favorites.

Prediction: South Africa to win the match.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee


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