Australian cricket coach Andrew McDonald has lauded the New Zealand Blackcaps as the best side in the nation's history, as his team prepares for a "tough" five match T20 series.
By Sean Nugent
Speaking from hotel quarantine in Christchurch this morning, McDonald told reporters his side would have to bring their "A-game" in order to even compete with the New Zealanders.
"We've got our work cut out, they’ve got quality players across the board.
"I think it’s hands down the best period of cricket in New Zealand history and some of these players we’re currently seeing for New Zealand are going to go down as the greats and that makes them a very tough team to play against."
The Australian side arrived in Christchurch on Sunday evening and will only exit quarantine on the morning of the first game, set to be played at Hagley Oval on February 22.
First though, they must test negative for coronavirus tomorrow in order for them to be allowed to train and for the tour to go ahead.
While McDonald was not overly concerned about any of his contingent testing positive, he was wary of New Zealand's bowling attack, who have rampaged through both the West Indies and Pakistan this summer.
"If you look at their success it’s been underpinned in red ball cricket by a quality bowling attack.
"I think that bowling attack will probably go down as New Zealand’s best bowling attack and in white ball cricket also they’ve got some really good complimenting skillsets.
"They're a smart cricket team and we’ll have our work cut out here and there’s no doubt they’re a tough team to beat on their home turf," McDonald said.
The Australian coach also praised the form of New Zealand's fresh faces Tim Seifert and Devon Conway, while he hoped to see similar performances from some of his new recruits.
"It’s a great challenge and the guys are looking forward to touring over here and playing good competitive cricket against a quality side.
"We’ve got full respect for the Kiwis and what they’ve been able to achieve.
"We’re going to have our work cut out and we’re going to have to bring our A game [in order] to compete and hopefully win the series."