New Zealand have been on an incredible run in the series with the series up to this point but, as with most series, the pressure is on them to win the series, a goal they have so far been unable to do.
The series starts on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium with the second Test at Eden Park in Melbourne on September 24.
New Zealand’s batting performance in the three Test series in Australia was outstanding but they are in a tough position with the captain, Brendon McCullum, nursing an Achilles injury.
Ahead of the series opener, McCullum had some praise for New Zealand’s bowling performance in Australia, saying that his team had a very good bowling attack.
“The way they played at Adelaide, the way they batted, it was just very impressive,” McCullum said.
“They were really good in the field and I think that’s one of the things that we’ve worked on in the pre-season.”
We were trying to get the ball to the right person at the right time, and we found that we had a really good batting attack, a very solid batting line-up, and then we just had to be good enough to get those runs.
“New Zealand captain Brendon’s injury will force the team to play their first Test against South Africa on September 17.
McCullum was also forced to leave the field early after his team failed to make the cut for the third Test in Adelaide.
Maurice Cummins was the only player to start all three Tests for the tourists but he has been forced to be rested due to the injury.
McCullum has been the most consistent batsman in the team and his form has seen him pick up the team’s top spot in the batting order ahead of James Faulkner.
In a series that has been a rollercoaster for the series so far, McCullums and Faulkners’ performance in South Africa will be the defining factor.
A victory for New England will give them a three-match series win streak and will set up a return to Australia.
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