Brisbane. Captain Ross Taylor said on Wednesday that New Zealand was confident of winning its first test in Australia in 26 years against a weakened bowling attack at the Gabba this week.
The Black Caps, ranked a lowly eighth and winners of only three of their past 22 tests, take on Michael Clarke’s Australians in the throes of an injury crisis that has hit the team’s new-ball attack.
The Australians have named three pace bowling newcomers with James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc in their most inexperienced test squad since 1985, when the Kiwis last won a test across the Tasman.
Taylor senses that New Zealand, for so often second-best in the Trans-Tasman Trophy, has its chance to win only its eighth test in 51 encounters going back to 1946.
“Every time you play against Australia, you don’t need any more motivation with the trans-Tasman rivalry,” Taylor said before today’s first of two tests.
“We want to win every game. I wouldn’t say we’ve got a better chance here.
“We’re in a good space at the moment. We’re confident with the way we’ve been playing. We need to do the basics well.”
Taylor said he still expected a tough examination from Australia despite its inexperienced bowling line-up.
The Black Caps plastered an Australia A attack featuring Pattinson, Cutting and Starc for 890 runs in two innings in a high-scoring draw, with Jesse Ryder, Brendon McCullum and Taylor hitting centuries.
Black Caps coach John Wright believes Australia could finally be vulnerable in Brisbane this week.
Australia has not lost at the Gabba since 1988 and the Kiwis have only won a total of two tests in Australia, both in 1985, on their way to a series win.
“It’s impressive, no doubt about it but we have everything to play for,” said Wright, who played on the triumphant Kiwi team in 1985.
“In our change room we have some young cricketers who are really looking forward to playing this match.
“We are not daunted by that record, we see it as an opportunity. It will be up to us [to break it].”