The chances of New Zealand team getting battered at the hands of the world's best Test team South Africa in their home conditions during the upcoming series is quite high, according to cricket writer, Rob Houwing.
"Well-founded concern about the Black Caps' ability to be competitive in the Test series against No 1-ranked South Africa shortly only gathers steam in New Zealand," Houwing wrote in his column for Sport24.
"Columnist Chris Rattue, writing in major national daily The New Zealand Herald on Wednesday, suggests the tourists are risking one almighty disaster in the two-Test venture and that cricket stands on the brink in that nation," he added.
"The writer also rues once more the absence of the Black Caps' best batsman, Ross Taylor, saying that he is 'starting to come across as a prima donna'," he said
Houwing added: "The eighth-ranked Black Caps, who have also not selected the domestically in-form but personal problem-plagued Jesse Ryder, look especially vulnerable with the bat for the task of taking on Dale Steyn and company."
"They will place heavily reliance on the likes of new captain Brendon McCullum (at least a combative character, but Test average a moderate 35), Martin Guptill (average 32) and 22-year-old Kane Williamson (also average 32) for their runs," he wrote.
"It is a formidable responsibility when you weigh such players up against Proteas crease heavyweights Graeme Smith (average 49.53), Hashim Amla (50.69), Jacques Kallis (56.92) and AB de Villiers (49.11)," he further added.
"On New Zealand's last Test tour to these shores, in 2007/08, they were clobbered 2-0 with defeats at the Wanderers (by 358 runs) and Centurion (by an innings and 59 runs) despite fielding an altogether more street-wise line-up then. It is not hard to deduce why the portents look so bleak for them in 2012/13," he concluded. (ANI)