It is going to be a tough battle - Michael Clarke

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke believes that the three-match Trans-Tasman series between Australia and New Zealand will be fiercely competitive.

Even before the series started, there have been words exchanged with Australian captain and his deputy - Steven Smith and David Warner having a go at the New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum for his comments on the duo during the 2015 Ashes series.

Smith remarked McCullum's comments as "immature" while Warner urged the New Zealand skipper to play for a win rather than the spirit of cricket award.

Clarke, who announced his retirement at the back of the Ashes defeat against England, believes Australia will come hard at New Zealand in the upcoming Test series.

“Lot of aggression has been shown already,” said Clarke.

“It looks to me like the Australian team is going to play the aggressive brand of cricket.

“Smith, Warner and Mitchell Johnson have made it very clear about their intentions to play aggressive and attacking cricket.”

However, Clarke warned his former team mates not to be complacent about McCullum’s men as they have been going through a good run of form heading into the first Test.

“New Zealand are in good form.

“They are a strong team. It is going to be a tough battle.

“It is going to be more about what you do and not so much about what you say.

“New Zealand have not been sledgers.

“So I don’t think they will go hard at the Aussies verbally but their greatest strength is going be to the way they perform in these conditions.”

In the 28 Test matches New Zealand have played in Australia, they have won just three while losing 15.

Clarke, who led Australia to a World Cup triumph in the final against New Zealand earlier this year, believes that the bounce in the Australian pitches is something that can catch the visitors by surprise.

“My only concern for New Zealand is going to be the bounce on The Gabba and the second Test at The WACA.

“We are still in for a wonderful series, Two very good teams having a go at each other and I am still backing Australia to win.”

The series will also feature for the first time in international cricket, a day-night Test, which will be played in Adelaide on 27th November.

© Cricket World 2015