The Australians were simply below par in the ODI series against the Blackcaps recently. More than the bowling, however, it was their batting which let the Kangaroos terribly down. The likes of Steve Smith, George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell struggled in testing conditions and were easily preyed upon by the New Zealand bowlers.
As Australia adapt to a change in format, they are bound to be tested further. With the red ball at home, New Zealand is simply too lethal a side. The absence of any warm up games owing to a jam-packed schedule has purely compounded Australia’s woes for the test matches. Pace spearhead Josh Hazlewood though, is confident of Australia’s chances in the tests despite the visitors not completely warming up to the task.
“Three one-dayers, it’s not perfect but it’s pretty close I think,” Hazlewood said. “The fact we’ve been playing in these conditions against their batting order, it’s pretty similar in Test cricket and one-dayers. And a few of the guys obviously played in that Shield game near Christchurch. I think the build-up has been really good and we’ll be ready to go.” “The wickets will do a fair bit in New Zealand, so it’s a matter of putting the ball in the right area and not trying too hard. I was a victim of that in England, of trying to do too much, whereas you’ve still got to hit that line and length and let the ball do its work,” he said.
The pacer was also cautious of Kane Williamson and said, “I still think he’s a better Test player than a one-day player.” “He’s great at both but we have to get him out in Test cricket and I think the way we bowled to him in these last three games has been pretty much spot on. We’ve tried to tie him down and get him driving so that’s going to be the key in these Test matches. “He showed in Australia how good a player he is and I think he’s got runs against every country in the world. So he knows these conditions well so we’ve got get on top of him and try and get him early. I think he’s that rock in their order that they feed off.”