Wellington: South African one-day cricket captain A B de Villiers has said that his team’s loss to New Zealand in last year’s World Cup quarter-final is now history, and added that the visitors are here to set the record straight about which side is the better one.
De Villiers said his Proteas needed little motivation to take on a "street-smart" Black Caps team following their last meeting at the World Cup.
South Africa have arrived in New Zealand for a full tour that features three T20s, ODIs and tests with the first international starting on Friday night in Wellington with a T20.
New Zealand beat the highly fancied Proteas in a bitter World Cup quarterfinal last year. The Black Caps defended the vulnerable total of 221, taking the last five South African wickets for 25 runs to dismiss the Proteas for 172.
The Proteas copped plenty of Kiwi verbals and suffered the "choker" tag from the international media as their run of World Cup failures continued.
"We don`t need a lot of motivation at the moment. We`re a young side with a lot to prove and our last experience against New Zealand was quite a sad one for us - but they played the better cricket on the day and that`s history now and we have to move on," De Villiers said in an interview.
But he also described the Kiwis as a clever team.
"They`re very street-smart and they think on their feet, but hopefully we`ll be the smarter team in the upcoming series," he said.
Coach Gary Kirsten said the challenge for his team would be to adjust to the New Zealand conditions which are vastly different to the hard and fast wickets and outfields back in South Africa.
"Our focus of attention is how well we can play in any conditions that we`re confronted with," said Kirsten, who is on his first overseas tour as coach of the Proteas.