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Tourists are favourites: Williamson

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/03/2017

Kane Williamson in action for the Blackcaps. © Rob Jefferies/Getty Images Kane Williamson in action for the Blackcaps. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson admits South Africa come into the Test series as favourites and they will have to pick themselves up from the disappointing one-day series loss.

The first of three Tests starts in Dunedin on Wednesday and the southern city experienced mixed weather on Tuesday.

It might be colder than the South Africans were used to, but they were an experienced side and would adapt quickly, Williamson said.

He admitted third-ranked South Africa start as favourites. New Zealand are ranked two places below but have a chance to overtake the tourists if they win the series at least 2-0.

"They are a good side. We will have to be at our best," Williamson said on Tuesday.

South African won the ODI series 3-2, cantering home in the final match after the Kiwis scored just 149 in Auckland.

Williamson indicated moving on was now natural.

"You have to move on pretty quickly in cricket these days because three days later you are playing another game or starting another series or a different format and that's what we are faced with at the moment.

"It is important we start Test mode... and make those adjustments very quickly.''

Dunedin's University Oval has been a good ground for New Zealand. They haven't lost a Test there in seven matches on a pitch which generally plays true throughout the five days.

However, it has a new groundsman in Mike Davies and Williamson has spoken to him to get a handle on any potential subtle differences.

"By all accounts probably a similar looking surface to what we are used to, a bit of green grass and it might offer a little bit to the seamers initially. So we'll have to wait and see how it shapes up tomorrow as well."

That means a decision on Wednesday morning as to whether spinner Jeetan Patel will play, and also choosing between Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme for the allrounder.

Williamson also joked he hadn't decided if he would continue the New Zealand trend of bowling first on winning the toss.

"I don't get ahead of myself with silly ideas like that.

"We want to check that [pitch] before we dive into making outrageous comments about what we might do."

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