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Black Caps taking underdog tag

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/08/2016

New Zealand haven't yet decided whether to play an extra spinner or seamer. © Daniel Smith/Getty Images New Zealand haven't yet decided whether to play an extra spinner or seamer. Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson is under no illusion about the task ahead of his side when they meet South Africa in Durban.

The tourists are ranked above their hosts on the ICC Test rankings and South Africa are missing both AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel .

But Williamson has rejected the favourites tag ahead of the first of two Tests, at Kingsmead, starting on Friday night (NZT).

"Whenever you play South Africa they are always regarded as one of the strongest teams in the world and certainly playing in their back yard is a stiff challenge," he told a pre-match press conference.

Test cricket hasn't been played in August in Durban before and the wicket is something of an unknown - it looks to have a bit of grass with some bare patches.

"Both teams go in a little bit blind, but at the same time it looks like a pretty good surface," Williamson said.

New Zealand haven't yet decided whether to play an extra spinner or seamer.

"The wicket looks perhaps a little bit tacky, but the game goes for five days, if it goes the duration ... it's nice to have an afternoon training ... just to see what the wicket shapes up like."

New Zealand have never beaten South Africa in a Test series and they were soundly beaten in two Tests when they last toured the republic in 2013.

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