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Guptill gets confidence back

10:30 Mon Dec 31 2012
Martin Guptill
Martin Guptill bats during the 2nd T20 match against South Africa.

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill says he's feeling more confident heading into the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Wednesday after a solid knock in the three-day warm-up match in Paarl.

The game against a South African selection ended in a draw on a lifeless Boland Park pitch.

New Zealand finished on 2-117 in their second innings after the home team declared on 7-359 at lunch on the third and final day.

Most New Zealand batsmen managed valuable time at the crease, with Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum scoring half-centuries in the first innings of 6-311 declared.

Guptill, who made 42 in his first turn at the crease, was 68 not out in the second innings, and says he's happy with the return to form triggered by his match-winning unbeaten Twenty20 century last week.

"When I got here I was extremely out of touch, but getting that hundred in the second Twenty20 really gave me a bit of confidence leading into the Test match series," he said.

Boland Park's tame pitch hasn't provided the best of lead-ins to the first Test at Newlands Cricket Ground beginning late on Wednesday (NZT), Guptill admitted.

"It's not ideal having such a low, slow wicket here leading into a Test match. But I guess we expected that, and we know it's going to be a bouncy wicket in Newlands.

"We have to prepare for that over the next couple of days, and if we do that well then we'll go well in the test match."

Guptill said the New Zealanders knew exactly what to expect from the pacy South African bowling attack.

"There's always going to be a bit of hostility from their quicks and we know that - we're well prepared for that and the barrage we're going to get come the first Test."

New Zealand take a weakened side for the Test series.

They have lost the services key bowlers Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee to injury, classy batsman Jesse Ryder is unavailable and former skipper Ross Taylor made himself unavailable for this tour after being stripped of the captaincy.

Taylor's replacement Peter Fulton is out with a knee injury and will be replaced by Aucklander Colin Munro.