Mount Maunganui: South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first in the opening one-day international against New Zealand at Bay Oval on Tuesday.
Captain AB de Villiers said he wanted to give the Proteas vaunted bowling attack a crack at a Black Caps batting line-up missing Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor through injury.
"We`re going to play to win and I feel we`ve got the best opportunity bowing first," he said. "Maybe get a few wickets in the first 10 (overs) and put New Zealand under a bit of pressure."
"We`ve got a nice balance in the bowling attack, it`s probably our biggest strength."
The three-match series will give the Proteas a chance to familiarise themselves with local conditions in preparation for the World Cup pool matches they will play at New Zealand venues.
The South Africans, currently second in the ODI rankings, can also leapfrog Australia to top spot if they whitewash New Zealand 3-0.
New Zealand have called in allrounder Jimmy Neesham as a makeshift opener in Williamson`s absence and slotted in Dean Brownlie at number three.
The hosts are also without injured paceman Tim Southee but welcome back veteran spinner Dan Vettori after a long spell on the sidelines.