Black Caps beware - Faf du Plessis believes the Proteas are on a roll and will carry their Twenty20 form into the test arena.
Having comfortably taken the T20 series 2-1 with a dominant victory in yesterday's (NZ time) decider, the tour now switches to the longer formats.
The Black Caps begin a three-day warm-up match against a South African XI in Paarl today before the opening test starts in cape Town on January 2.
Du Plessis did a solid job of captaining the T20 outfit for the first time and he's now looking to build on his outstanding start to the test scene.
Du Plessis played the last two tests in Australia, scoring a defiant century on debut to deny the home side in Adelaide and then getting among the runs again in Perth as the Proteas won to claim the series and cement their world No 1 test ranking.
"Test cricket is such an awesome test of skill and we are all looking forward to the longer version of the game," he said.
"We are number one in the world now and we don't want to let the standards we've set slip.
"Personally, I'm really looking forward to joining up with the test team again because it's such a special place to play test cricket. I haven't played a home series in test cricket so I can't wait to get to Cape Town."
Du Plessis was delighted with the way his T20 outfit dominated the deciding match in Port Elizabeth.
"I thought we came back very nicely with the bat, especially when you've got a couple of young guys who are new to international cricket,” he said.
"After losing two wickets early up front our guys showed good composure and posted a really good total. I thought the bowling was excellent throughout the series. We bowled well most of the time.
"I believe we deserved to win the series. I thought we were very unlucky in the second game."
Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum felt it was an opportunity lost yesterday with New Zealand still looking for their first series win over South Africa in T20.
"We very disappointing because we came into this game with high hopes," McCullum said.
"We obviously built up some momentum after the East London game where we did very well after the initial Durban disappointment. For a fair amount of the game, I thought we competed really well, but South Africa grabbed some of those bigger moments and we were found wanting at times."
Meanwhile, Free State's Pite van Biljon will captain the South African XI to play at Boland Park, Paarl.
The match will not have first-class status as both teams will have a squad of 12 players although only 11 can be in the field at any stage.
SA XI: Pite van Biljon (Free State, captain), Colin Ackermann (EP), Bradley Barnes (WP), Uwe Birkenstock (Boland), Petrus Jeftha (Boland), Matthew Kleinveldt (WP), Shaun Liebisch (Easterns), Travis Muller (WP), Keegan Petersen (Boland), Siya Simetu (WP), Rassie van der Dussen (North West), Gino Vries (Free State).
- © Fairfax NZ News
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