McCullum admits Kiwis face ‘monumental’ task of beating Proteas

Johannesburg: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has conceded they face a monumental task to win against world’s best Test team after arriving for their six-week tour of South Africa.

The Black Caps have been arriving in small groups ahead of their opening fixture next Tuesday, a Twenty20 warm-up against South Africa A in Pietermaritzburg, and the final members of their squad were due to touch down in Durban on Saturday.

The tourists were dogged by off-field controversies prior to their departure from New Zealand after the much-publicised axing of batsman Ross Taylor as captain.

Taylor, one of their best batsmen over the past 12 months, has since made himself unavailable for the trip, leaving a big hole in their line-up, although McCullum was adamant the void could be filled by some of their inexperienced players.

“There’s obviously been some distractions that have gone on back home over the last week or so, but we’re trying not to let it worry us too much,” Sport24 quoted McCullum, as saying.

“We have a monumental task ahead of us and to do it without some of our better players is disappointing. But it opens the door for some of our young players coming on their first tour to take on a very good South Africa team,” he added.

"We can’t control what has happened and we need to control the things we can, which are on the field,” he said.

New Zealand faces the Proteas at Kingsmead next Friday in the first of three T20 Internationals.