Centurion : When it was announced that South Africa and New Zealand would play a one-day international series during the South African winter, the obvious marketing angle was that it would provide a rematch of the dramatic World Cup semi-final between the two teams.

New Zealand won the World Cup showdown with a six off the penultimate ball of the match in Auckland in March.

The series which starts at SuperSport Park on Wednesday is, however, far from a replay. Both sides are missing key players.

New Zealand, in particular, have been hit hard by injuries as well as a player management policy which sees regular captain Brendon McCullum and fast bowler Tim Southee being rested.

Despite injuries ruling out Trent Boult, Corey Anderson, Ross Taylor and Mitchell Santner, the Black Caps showed in sharing a Twenty20 series, which ended on Sunday, that they are capable of mounting a strong challenge.

After losing the first Twenty20 international in Durban by six wickets, New Zealand bounced back by winning the second game by 32 runs in Centurion on Sunday. Captain Kane Williamson praised the way the side had turned around their fortunes but warned they would need to improve even further going into a 50-overs series.

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