ICC World Cup, 1st semi-final: New Zealand vs South Africa key men
Key men ahead of the World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland on Tuesday:
Auckland: Key men ahead of the World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland on Tuesday:
New Zealand (Martin Guptill)
The New Zealand opener has woken from a year-long slump when needed most with his stunning 237 not out against West Indies in the quarter-finals continuing a growing return to form which includes 57 and 105 in his previous two innings.
He has repaid the faith shown in him by the selectors who included him in the World Cup squad despite a wretched run in the lead up to the tournament which included two golden ducks against Sri Lanka.
A strong driver of the ball, and mentored by New Zealand legend Martin Crowe, Guptill has found the form that means New Zealand can rest easy if fellow opener Brendon McCullum fails as he did against the West Indies.
South Africa (Hashim Amla)
The fastest player to 20 ODI centuries -- in 111 matches -- and reaching the milestone with his 159 against Ireland in pool play, the elegant strokemaker is due another big one after averaging only 22 in three innings since.
The 31-year-old`s ability to usually get among the runs cannot be questioned with South Africa captain AB de Villiers describing the opening batsman as the "rock" who can be relied on to lay a foundation at the top of the innings.
The Wisden Cricketer of the Year, and fastest batsman to score 4,000 ODI runs, should feel comfortable against the Black Caps pace attack after notching a century when South Africa made a brief tour of New Zealand in October.