Southee ‘excited’ to face new-look Aussies

Australia

New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee says he's pumped up for the Test tour of Australia over the next six weeks and hasn't been this keen for a series 'in a long time' as they prepare to face a new-look Oz side.

The hosts are almost unrecognisable from the team that played the Ashes, with five retirements following that series in England, a new skipper in Steve Smith installed, and an almost new batting order.

But Southee says that while he's excited for the three Tests, and also the preceding warm-up games, and especially the first pink ball Tests at the end of November, he knows the Aussies will come out swinging.

Southee said in Auckland: "Personally, I haven't been this excited for a series for a long time. One thing we do know is this is an Australian side that won't lie down.

"The first Test is in Brisbane (on 5 November) and I don't think they've lost there for 20-odd years.

"I guess it’s a chance to do something no other side has done for number of years now, but we've got a couple of games to prepare leading into that."

The paceman added that they were excited but not daunted, and that while they've not won a Test in Australia in seven years, nor a series since 1985, their recent form was proof of their abilities.

He added: "If you look at our last seven or eight series, I don't think we've lost a series. We've found a formula and a way that works for this team and for the personnel within the side.

"I don't think we need to change what we're doing because it seems to be putting the results on the board."

The Kiwis start their tour with a day-night game in Canberra on Friday, and then a two-day game against a Cricket Australia XI on the weekend.

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