Tomorrow's opener to the ODI series against South Africa at Seddon Park shapes as a pivotal match for New Zealand.

It's all very well saying last night's 78-run shellacking in the sole T20 international at Eden Park bears little resemblance to the five-game ODI series, but try telling South Africa that.

Both T20/test skipper Faf du Plessis and ODI captain AB de Villiers have stressed the point it mattered to their team, setting a line in the sand. Standards must now be maintained after such an impressive start.

"Faf and I are very similar in the way we play our game," de Villiers said. "We grew up together and both have a very competitive nature.


"There's a great feeling in the team, especially after last night. It was vital for us to start well (but) it doesn't guarantee us any success in the ODI series, we know that."

New Zealand should be wary. They need to make their own statement tomorrow. Give South Africa early momentum and this series could run away before the hosts' eyes.

"It certainly showed us how many good players they have," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said of South Africa's display on Friday night. "It was a thorough performance from South Africa but disappointing from our perspective that we didn't fire too many shots at them."

Shot firing starts tomorrow, the scene of New Zealand's 24-run win over Australia a fortnight ago.

In the injury-enforced absence of opener Martin Guptill, New Zealand will look to veteran Ross Taylor to lead the batting operation with captain Kane Williamson.

Taylor's fine century in that Chappell Hadlee win would have been the man-of-the-match performance, had it not been for Trent Boult's sizzling career-best six for 33 to rip the game decisively New Zealand's way late in the piece.

The T20 imbroglio over Taylor's non-selection is in the past, Hesson suggesting as the top order failed to give New Zealand a foundation Taylor's ability to significantly influence the chase at Eden Park would have been limited.

His ability to influence an ODI innings, however, isn't in doubt. He averages 11 runs more at Seddon Park than he does over his whole career.

As the match will be played on the same pitch as the Australian match, don't bank on legspinner Ish Sodhi getting a run.

He was left out, New Zealand said, for that game because it wasn't expected to offer much help. As it happened, it didn't turn much and New Zealand got their selection right.

However this is the sort of ground where Sodhi - especially having seen the damage Imran Tahir was able to do at Eden Park in taking five for 24 in 15 balls - is worth another serious conversation.

Sodhi took 14 wickets at 19 apiece in the Ford Trophy for Northern Districts to follow his six for 11 for Adelaide in the Big Bash League against the Sydney Strikers.

Hard-hitting South African batsman David Miller remains a doubt for tomorrow, his little finger injury taking longer than expected to heal.

But this should be the first sighting of South Africa's highly-lauded young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, and another chance to see one of the modern greats, Hashim Amla, at the crease.

"He's one of a kind," an admiring de Villiers said. "I don't think I've ever seen someone with so much skill (against) the new ball, then changing gears to the old ball and facng spin, and always being so calm."