14 Nov 2008

Vettori anticipates backlash from Australia

7:13 am on 14 November 2008

The New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori is steeling himself for an Australian backlash in the coming Test series but still regards the old foe as the world's best team despite their series loss in India.

Vettori believes Australia's 2-0 series loss in India was probably the worst thing that could have happened for his side as he expects Ricky Ponting's world No.1 ranked team to be desperate to prove a point.

Vettori says he's a numbers man and if you look at the rankings they are number one.

He's sure they will be hurting as a side after losing the Indian Test series, so they will come back pretty strong.

Vettori says the comprehensive nature of the loss will have done them no favours and he expects them to bounce back in a bid to diffuse the criticism they've come in for.

He believes the Australians will be placing more emphasis on beating their other visiting opponent this summer, South Africa, but expects his relatively inexperienced side to be competitive.

The Black Caps open their tour with a four-day match against New South Wales before the two Tests against Australia in Brisbane and Adelaide.

New Zealand have won only two out of 24 Tests in Australia and none of the last 15 stretching back over 20 years.

Asked whether the loss to India had dented Australia's aura, Vettori says if you were playing them outside of Australia maybe you could infer that, but when you come to Australia and see how impeccable their record has been over the last few years in Test cricket, you know this is probably the hardest test in world cricket.