South Africa chose to bat first in the second test against New Zealand, aiming to overturn a series deficit after losing the first match by 281 runs.

In a match crucial for South Africa to square the series, Captain Neil Brand chose to bat first after winning the toss, a decision that goes against the conventional choice in Hamilton where nine out of the last ten captains preferred to bowl first. New Zealand, leading the series after an emphatic first test win, made strategic lineup changes including debutants and returning players to strengthen their side. With significant performances from Kane Williamson and Rachin Ravindra in the first test, New Zealand seeks only a draw in the second test to win a series over South Africa for the first time.