Andy Moles, the New Zealand coach, believes his team has the ability to upset Australia in next month's Chappell-Hadlee Series. There are a few newcomers in New Zealand's 14-man squad for the contest, which starts on February 1, but Moles thinks the squad has enough match-winners despite the absence of the experienced allrounders Scott Styris and Jacob Oram.
"I'm really excited about this series. I can't wait for it to start," Moles told the Sydney Morning Herald. "We've got five or six real international match-winners and if they perform and we all stand up and be counted, [I] really expect to win over there.
"We may well be the underdogs but it's about how we feel ourselves and how we approach this challenge," he said. "If we go into the games expecting to come second then we will come second.
"If we go into the games with a hunger and yearning for success, and if we believe we can stand up man for man against the Australians, then we can win a game of cricket."
The team includes two uncapped players in 19-year-old left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult and allrounder Brendon Diamanti, and Moles said they would get an opportunity if the conditions allowed it. "We'll have a look at the surfaces we are going to play on first," he said. "Both guys have different skills.
"Brendon is a bowler who can vary his pace, bowl good yorkers and slower balls, so there will be certain surfaces he might be useful on," Moles said. "He's a good striker and fielder as well.
"Young Boult has been the form bowler of the domestic competition this year and the stats certainly don't show anything different. I saw him bowl during the winter and he did a great job in Australia [during the Emerging Players Tournament]. He's a guy who gets the ball to swing away from left-hand batsmen, so we see him as possessing skills we could well use to exploit the Australians when we get across there.
"Looking at the squad, I think we have several bowlers with different skills which, under the right conditions, we believe, can expose the Australians. That's why they've been selected."
The visit is Moles' first tour with the team - John Bracewell was in charge during the recent 2-0 Test loss in Australia. New Zealand begin with a warm-up game against the Australian Prime Minister's XI, led by Justin Langer, in Canberra on January 29 before the first ODI in Perth.