New Zealand in Australia 2008-09 November 11, 2008

Vettori cautious of a 'hurting' Australia

Cricinfo staff


Daniel Vettori bowls in the nets at the SCG © Getty Images
 

Daniel Vettori believes New Zealand will be worse off for Australia's 2-0 loss in India when the two teams meet in the first Test at the Gabba next Thursday. Vettori, the New Zealand captain, said Australia were always a major challenge at home and coming off the defeat in India they would be even more desperate to reassert their authority.

"This is the first time I suppose that they've been beaten in a series comprehensively by an opposition side," Vettori said. "I look at the Aussie team and think they are quite a resilient side and I'm sure they are going to bounce back and will want to answer some critics in the next couple of Test matches."

New Zealand have not won a Test in Australia since 1985-86 and are significant underdogs in the two-match series after they were forced to toil hard to beat Bangladesh last month. Australia are not the dominant force they once were - their past two Tests at home resulted in a draw and a loss to India - but they have failed to win only one of their past 13 home series.

"You look at the Australia team and their performances in their own country over the last few years have been almost impeccable," Vettori said. "It's going to be difficult, I'm sure they will be hurting as a side after losing the Test series."

Since their previous Test tour of Australia in 2004-05, New Zealand have lost several key players and of the squad for Brisbane, only Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Chris Martin and Kyle Mills have Test experience in Australia. The loss of Jacob Oram, who has a back injury, is a major blow, although Vettori expects his side will be competitive.

"We are quite inexperienced, but in saying that I still think this is a nucleus of a good side, so hopefully we can come here and perform," he said. "But I think you will see the best of this side as it starts to mature, particularly our young batsmen."

New Zealand have been training at the SCG ahead of their only tour match, a four-day game against New South Wales that begins on Thursday. After the Gabba Test the teams head to Adelaide for the second and final Test, which starts on November 28.