Corey Anderson is a big all rounder from Canterbury (originally) who hits a big ball and bowls left-arm medium fast. He was a prodigious talent at youth level, making the Canterbury side at age 16, while still at school.
Mitchell McClenaghan is a left-arm fast bowler who is a little erratic and injury prone, but who has a tendency to take wickets. Lots of wickets. Think of him as a New Zealand version of Mitchell Johnson. Not always on target, but capable of occasionally bowling a ball that could get through Rahul Dravid or Brian Lara.
While their selections are not in themselves particularly notable, there is one thing that is: they are both left-arm pace bowlers, adding to a very long list of NZ left-armers.
This year New Zealand has used Trent Boult, Niel Wagner, Andy McKay, James Franklin and Michael Bates at the bowling crease. There is only one other year in history when a team has selected 5 left-arm pace bowlers to play international cricket. In 2007 Sri Lanka actually picked 6 (although Zoysa didn't actually bowl in the one match he was selected for).
And New Zealand are probably against the best team to bowl left-arm pace against. South Africa's batsmen have done well against every type of bowling, but they have done less well against left-arm pace than any other type. In the last 4 years they average about 41 against right arm spin, 39 against left-arm spin or right arm pace but only 35 against left-arm pace. An average of 35 suggest that left-arm pace isn't a silver bullet, but it is a significant difference, and one that New Zealand might be aware of.
So far this year most of the South African batsmen have been dismissed at least once by a left-armer, despite many of them having only faced a couple of innings from a left-armer. Here are the stats for everyone who has faced a left-arm pace bowler at least 5 times:
|Name||Total Runs||Total Dismissals||Average|
The New Zealand bowlers are likely to be eagerly waiting to bowl to Petersen and Kallis. The battle between the South African batsmen and the New Zealand left-armers is certainly one aspect of the tour that I'm going to be looking forward to watching immensely.