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South Africa looking to steamroll BlackCaps

Wednesday 7 Mar 2012 8:10 a.m.

South Africa's cricketing steam train looks set to keep rolling over New Zealand in the Test series, but the hosts are hoping a new format will signal a change of fortune.

After easily sweeping the one-day series 3-0 the Proteas need to whitewash New Zealand in the three Tests, the first starting in Dunedin on Wednesday, to be ranked the No.1 Test side in the world.

New Zealand, ranked eighth and only ahead of Bangladesh, have never beaten South Africa in a series and many home fans will be resigned to the strong tourists taking all three matches.

Playing in Dunedin there was the chance New Zealand could ambush South Africa in chilly conditions but the weather forecast for University Oval makes that unlikely.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith says things had changed since his last visit as a raw 23-year-old skipper in 2003 when the series was shared 1-1.

"I think we were a little bit wet behind the ears. We've got a lot more pace now that what we had eight years ago.

"I think we are far more attack-oriented than what we were. Eight years ago I think we toured with a mindset of to see how well we could do, where now we tour with the mindset of `we have come here to win'."

New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said his team are trying to build on recent success, most notably a remarkable win against Australia three months ago.

"After the win in Hobart we have captured the imagination of the country, we want to try and build on that. We know that South Africa are a top side, but we just have to worry about ourselves and get out there and express ourselves and get into the fight."

He dismissed the idea of being intimidated by South Africa's fast bowlers.

"We have played against some pretty fast bowlers in the past. It's nothing different."

NZN

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