One-day cricket still gives international cricketers the butterflies.
"It's still really exciting. You can see a batsman build an innings and you can still see a bowler go about his craft, whether it's spin or pace, because you don't get to see those types of things in Twenty20 cricket," Black Cap Kyle Mills said last night from Napier. "You obviously do in test cricket, which is the purest, so purists of the game still enjoy one-day cricket," the 33-year-old said before tomorrow's day-nighter against the touring England side at McLean Park, Napier, from 2pm.
On Sunday night, Kane Williamson, in the nail-biting three-wicket win over England in the first one-dayer, showed how batsmen could work their way into an innings effectively well, the veteran seamer said.
"Unfortunately he got run out but you see that [good innings] in one-day cricket."
Mills said the Black Caps were relishing going into the three-match series one-nil up.
"I guess all the pressure's on them now to win the last two games."
With the small boundaries at McLean Park, it was often tough for bowlers who had to bend their backs on a traditionally benign batting strip.
"That's the challenge for every bowling group who comes to Napier so one will have to put a lot of planning and thought into that."
It was really disappointing for former Central Districts Stags seamer Mitchell McClenaghan, he said, of his fellow Auckland Aces player who was on a roll this summer before the side strain on Sunday night.
"I'm sure he'll rest up well, recover and rehab to be back in no time," he said of the former Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall Cricket Club member who was having an MRI scan yesterday.
Mills said hamstrung opening batsman Martin Guptill would miss tomorrow's game, after the nail-biting three-wicket victory at Seddon Park, Hamilton, on Sunday but he would return for the final ODI day-nighter at Eden Park on Saturday.
While Tim Southee was returning from a thumb injury and paternal obligations having missed the tour of South Africa, Mills said he had shown his class in the last Plunket Shield match for his Northern Districts Knights win over the Wellington Firebirds, taking 9-149 and scoring 83 runs off 58 balls.
"I'm sure he'll fit into the mould pretty easily and he sets very high standards," Mills said, adding Trent Boult might also be in coach Mike Hesson's matrix to seal the series here.
"Both of them swing the ball nicely so whoever is asked to do the job will step up to the plate."
While not a selector, he felt test opener Doug Bracewell was a quality bowler despite not making the cut for the shorter formats.
"Doug's done a really good job every time he's got on the international stage so I'm sure when he'll get another opportunity, he'll step up again," said Mills.
England are world No 1 in ODIs and South Africa were No 2 so clinching the series tomorrow will leave "a great feeling in the group".