New Zealand skipper Tom Latham won the toss and opted to field against South Africa in Pune at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Tom Latham called it right and decided to field. Tim Southee returned to the lineup in place of Lockie Ferguson, who is sidelined with an Achilles concern.
Temba Bavuma believed that they would've batted first anyhow. He believed that the wicket was on the drier side and that the ball might skid in the evening. Kagiso Rabada came in for Tabraiz Shamsi.
Kane Williamson was in contention to return from his thumb injury to take on the Proteas, but the Black Caps avoided taking that call.
South Africa have no fresh injury worries, with right-arm quick Kagiso Rabada to be monitored prior to the clash after he missed the Proteas' recent match against Pakistan with a back problem.
Two of the early pacesetters at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 meet, with the winner set to move a step closer to locking in a semi-final berth with another victory here.
South Africa are currently sitting second in the standings, one spot ahead of New Zealand, with five wins mostly built on devastating displays when setting a lofty target in four of those triumphs.
The Proteas have been shakier when chasing a target, falling 38 runs short of the 246 that Netherlands set for them for what turned into their only defeat at the tournament so far, and later staggering to the line for a less-than-convincing one-wicket victory against Pakistan.
New Zealand will be out to get their Cricket World Cup campaign back on track after four initial victories were followed by back-to-back losses to India and Australia.
A third consecutive loss would leave the Black Caps well within reach of the chasing pack led by Pakistan and Afghanistan.
New Zealand hold a 6-2 advantage over South Africa at past ICC Men's Cricket World Cups and are currently on a streak of five consecutive wins in head-to-head encounters at the tournament.
The most famous of these Kiwi triumphs came in the 2015 semi-final when New Zealand won by 4 wickets with 1 ball remaining as the D/L method was required.
Another semi-final clash would be on the cards if South Africa (second) and New Zealand (third) hold onto their current positions in the standings.
The Black Caps also won by four wickets then the two sides last met in an ODI though that was curiously four years ago at the Cricket World Cup in 2019.
New Zealand squad: Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c) (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
South Africa squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi.