Best time to face Australia - Shane Bond
Former BlackCaps bowling coach Shane Bond feels that New Zealand's scheduled tour of Australia in October cannot have come at a better time considering their trans-Tasman rivals' form in their ongoing Ashes series.
England have reclaimed the urn with a Test to play with two of their three wins coming well inside three days and Bond feels that New Zealand can take advantage of the possible mental scars that the Australians may have following the series.
"For New Zealand there is no better time to take on Australia than November," said Bond who has been named assistant to Brisbane Heats coach and his former teammate Daniel Vettori.
"If the boys play to their potential and we can get everybody fit then we will certainly be competitive."
However, Bond knows that underestimating Australia, particularly on their home soil can backfire for the New Zealanders.
Having endured humiliation in the Ashes series, Australia will be keen to make amends in their major next Test assignment and Bond warned his team against complacency.
“They have had a tough couple of months and will be looking at redemption when they get back home.”
Analyzing New Zealand’s team, Vettori too echoed Bond’s opinion regarding Brendon McCullum's men chances against Australia.
Analyzing Brendon McCullum’s team, Vettori too echoed Bond’s opinion regarding New Zealand's chances against Australia.
Stressing on the overall balance of the team, Vettori also underlined McCullum’s adventurous captaincy as a standout feature of the New Zealand side.
"Look at the keys to a team - top order batting, top order bowling. Package it with Brendon's captaincy and batting and they tick all the boxes of a really good team," he said.
"There is a lot of optimism in New Zealand cricket at the moment."
Vettori chose not to read too much into Australia’s failures in England and feels that added that those results will have no bearing on New Zealand’s chances.
Australia have been near to invincible at home and Vettori knows that New Zealand’s litmus test will be the three-match series against their trans-Tasman rivals.
"Whatever Australia is going through at the moment, their home record is always second to none," he said.
"For New Zealand to come over here and do well is always the toughest task in world cricket.
"That will be the real test for a New Zealand team as a Test match line-up.
"(But) I think they (Kiwis) have the players there at the moment who can win games in all formats and all over the world."
Vettori heaped praises on outgoing Australian skipper Michael Clarke who is currently playing the final match of his Test career at The Oval.
Praising Clarke’s abilities against spinners, Vettori opined that the Australian captain was a difficult batsman to dismiss.
"For someone who has had such a glittering career you hope that it ends well," he said.
"From a personal note... he has always been a very tough wicket to get, especially as a spin bowler.
"I rate him exceptionally high as a batsman."
New Zealand's tour of Australia begins with the Test series that will kick-off in Brisbane on 5th November.
© Cricket World 2015