It's a big game for us as we take on the hosts at Centurion. Looking at the way their opening game against Sri Lanka went, we too might look at going in with two spinners. It has nothing to do with South Africa being poor against spin, but it has everything to do with the pitch on offer. When they came back to international cricket they may have struggled against spin, but having toured the sub-continent frequently since then, South Africa have no such worries now.
What we would like to do is put our experience of having just come from the sub-continent to good use as far as spin is concerned. We will have some adjustments to make on these pitches and they'll have to be made soon. It was a tough tour of Sri Lanka but you always learn from such outings.
It was good to have started with a win here against the Indians in the practice tie but when we take the field today, it'll be irrelevant. How we cope with the conditions on each given day will matter from hereon.
The Champions Trophy is the one major tournament that New Zealand have won, in Kenya in 2000, and that is something we are proud of and would dearly like to emulate. It was a great team effort that did the trick then and a similar one here will no doubt help. We have made the semis of many tournaments, so it is just a question of taking a further step.
Shane Bond has been a good addition to the side. He bowled superbly in Sri Lanka in his comeback series. The best part is that he doesn't seem to have lost anything in the time he was away. With Shane joining us, we have a well-balanced side that can deliver pace, seam and spin. As captain, I can't ask for more. We have no injury worries either and are keen to get on to the field.
As far as the success or otherwise of the Champions Trophy deciding the fate of ODIs goes, I firmly believe in keeping it as it is. There is talk of tinkering with the format but I would rather it be kept simple. After all, it has survived the test of time, so why make changes now, is my take.