Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, acknowledged that Pakistan played "the perfect Test" in Abu Dhabi, but said his team will "cop it on the chin" and is adamant they can fight back in the series and follow the host's blueprint for success - with a little luck at the flip of the coin.

Pakistan wrapped up an overwhelming 248-run victory early on the fifth day having dominated the match from the outset, losing just one wicket on the first day, having their top five all pass 80 - a first in Test cricket - before setting the spinners loose on New Zealand.

McCullum, though, was keeping his emotions on a level with his team's recent history in Test cricket convincing him that turning the series around in the remaining two matches in Dubai and Sharjah is not beyond them, despite Pakistan's stellar run of form in the five-day game over the last month.

"Kudos to Pakistan for how dominant they were from the get-go, they played the perfect Test and from our point of view we were found wanting in certain areas," McCullum said. "The toss was a big one for us. When you come over here and are playing a team who are so familiar with the conditions and are red-hot at the moment, it is very hard to start from behind the game.

"Hopefully I can win the toss in the next game, we can get some runs on the board and then we'll see how our bowlers operate with some scoreboard pressure."

Since McCullum took over the New Zealand captaincy, which was immediately followed by the embarrassment of being bowled out inside a session by South Africa in Cape Town, there has been a considerable improvement in their Test form. They have won their last three series - two against West Indies and one against India - with their only reversal being on last year's tour of England.

It is that solidity of performance that helped encourage McCullum not to feel too low after this heavy defeat, although he will be well aware that the challenge confronting his team over the next two weeks in the UAE is a vast one given the confidence surging through all aspects of the Pakistan team.

"We've been in this situation before and bounced back," he said. "We lost heavily in Trinidad and came back to win the series against West Indies with a fine performance in Barbados. You never like losing but sometimes you have to admit you were second best, cop it on the chin and try to get better. I think we'll be much improved in the next Test."

One of the performances that gave him solace was that of Tom Latham who made his first Test century on the third day, with McCullum saying it is a template for the other New Zealand batsman to follow. Echoing some of Michael Clarke's comments from Australia's recent series, he pinpointed the challenge facing batsmen in negotiating the early stages of the innings against Pakistan's varied attack, especially the spinners.

"I think there's some cause for hope there, Tom Latham's innings was one of real class and showed the temperament we know he's got and that he can play in these conditions. It was a good lesson for the rest of our top order

"We know how good a player he is, so early in his career, he has a great head on his shoulders. To see him get the rewards was significant for us. I also thought Ish Sodhi also got better as the game went on and Corey Anderson was pretty solid.

"In this part of the world starting against spin is the hardest thing. You have to get past that initial stage and come up with a quick assessment with catchers around the bat. Losing wickets in clumps rips out any chance of making a big score. We have the players to do it."

McCullum was also aware that New Zealand cannot afford to spurn hard-earned chances which come their way in energy-sapping conditions. "I thought our bowlers did quite nicely without much luck," he said. "We created five or six chances in the first innings and over here you can't be needing to get 26-27 wickets so we have to make sure we take those chances when they are presented."