"Never give up"; in a nutshell that's the advice South Africa's top class legspinner Imran Tahir would give to his New Zealand counterpart, up and coming Ish Sodhi.

The pair have stayed in contact since New Zealand were last in South Africa, and Tahir, now the world's No 1 ranked ODI bowler, had high praise for Sodhi.

''We had a good chat after the last series," when New Zealand were in South Africa last year.

''He's a lovely guy and I wish him all the best."


Tahir has taken 121 ODI wickets in 69 matches at an average of 23.2.

''If I was him, I would work harder. I'm not saying he's not, but that's the advice I'd give him."

Tahir, 37, admitted when he was Sodhi's age, 24, he had much to learn.

''When I started bowling I was like him. I didn't know my game. I didn't know how to use variations. I just used to bowl leggies.

''But I worked hard to try to find out what could benefit me to be successful in international cricket.

''We are not playing in spin friendly situation in South Africa because the pitches are flat most of the time. (It was a case of) how I needed to adjust in those conditions. I did a lot of hard work.

''That's the only advice I can give him. Never give up. That's how I've been playing my cricket all my life."

Rain has hampered practice time ahead of tomorrow's solitary T20 international at Eden Park but Tahir is relaxed.

''It's not going to bother us if we don't have any other sessions," he said.

''We've been playing good cricket, we had one really good session and the boys trained today indoors. Everything looks really good for us."

South Africa have arrived on the back of a 5-0 thumping of Sri Lanka. Tahir and his team mates are in good form.

''I've been working really hard, as long as I doing well for my team that's what I think, as long as the captain and the boys are happy and I doing my job I'm happy."