New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has begun the mind games against hosts Australia with his statements. Neesham iterated that the Kiwis were better prepared than the hosts for the test series and that would boost their chances of success. New Zealand have played quite a few warm-up games leading to the test series and are scheduled to play yet another warm up game.

“We’ve got another warm-up game starting up down here, then we’ll go up to Brisbane and get some good practice in at the Gabba for a few days before the first Test, and we’re looking after ourselves and looking to prepare the best way we can,” said a confident Neesham during New Zealand’s practice session.

“Shortening the Blacktown game was a coaching decision and we thought it best for our group to get training in the conditions most similar to what the first Test is going to be like, and heading up to the Gabba with quicker and bouncier wickets seemed like the best way to go,” Neesham added.

Neesham admitted that the Aussies had a formidable record in Brisbane, and beating them at the Gabba would be a daunting task. “It can be a little bit overawing, the Aussies have a very good record at Brisbane over the last 20 or so years,” he said. “The main thing for us is to look after ourselves, we know we have a strong team and a settled unit, and if we go up and play the way we can, that should put us in good stead.”

The all-rounder, however, said that the Kiwis had bowlers who could trouble Australia at the Gabba. “Especially Tim Southee thrives on bouncier wickets, and we’ve got a guy like Doug Bracewell as well bowling first change, or Matt Henry who thrives on the bounce as well. I’m sure our guys will be looking forward to getting on the quicker, bouncier wicket after the game at Manuka Oval. “We’re quietly confident. We’ve got quite a settled unit and over the last 24 months we’ve put some good results on the board in Test cricket and we’re just going to approach the series like we have every other series over the last couple of years and go about our business.”

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