Black Caps ready to face the heat


“I think perhaps the bigger factor is the heat we are going to face over the next four or five days as well, just making sure we are aware of that.”

The Black Caps defeated England 1-0 at home before arriving in Australia, but Stead said it was too early to declare how good his team was.

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“I think after this summer you will know more. When you look at the program we have, we play England in two Tests, Australia in three, then India in two – you would argue they are up there with the best teams in the world now. When we get to the end of the summer, I think it will be easier for me to answer that question.”

Spearhead Trent Boult took to the nets on Tuesday, but the Black Caps have not made a call on whether he will be fit to play.

“We have to be really careful how we manage the next couple of days if we think he is going to start,” Stead said.

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Boult is a master of the pink ball, having claimed 16 wickets at 12.5 in two Tests, including two five-wicket hauls. He has dismissed Steve Smith four times, although Smith has pointed out his own record against the Black Caps is strong.

Should Boult not play, Lochie Ferguson would be in line to make his Test debut, the pace ace having dismissed David Warner and Smith when the teams met in the World Cup.

This is arguably the best Black Caps side to come to our shores. They have an experienced squad, with opener Tom Latham, at 27 and with 47 Tests, the youngest member.

They were beaten 2-0 here three years ago and required an unbeaten double century from Ross Taylor at the WACA to avoid defeat in the three-match series.

“One of the things that our guys have done well the last few years is consolidate on their starts and, hopefully, turn hundreds into double hundreds,” Stead said.

“Long may it continue.”

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