Wellington, Feb 14(ANI): South African cricket coach Gary Kirsten has said his players will concentrate on performance rather than being drawn into a verbal battle with New Zealand during their tour.
"We feel if we play really good cricket and don't say anything we're going to win more games than we're going to lose," Sports 24 quoted Kirsten, as saying.
"Our focus will be on what we're going to do. If New Zealand feel they want to get verbal with us then that's their business. At the end of the day the side that plays better cricket is going to win," he added.
New Zealand had under captain Stephen Fleming launched a deliberate campaign of verbal provocation aimed at South African captain Graeme Smith.
The last encounter between the teams when New Zealand eliminated South Africa from the Cricket World Cup in Dhaka last March, was also acrimonious. New Zealand players Kyle Mills and Daniel Vettori and South African counterparts Faf du Plessis were fined for "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players".
De Villiers, who will captain South Africa in the two Twenty20 and three one-day matches before Smith takes over for the three Tests, said he expected a fiery series.
"There always is a little bit of this and that when we play against New Zealand. Especially the last time we met at the World Cup there were a few things that went down there. They won the game and we've got a lot to prove in this series. I'm sure the game will be played hard on the field but we're friends with most of the guys off the field," De Villiers said. (ANI)
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