Cricket: We're not the Ashes entree - Hesson

Coach Mike Hesson is determined the Black Caps won't become the "entree" before the main event following his side's arrival in England yesterday.

The Black Caps landed in England relatively unnoticed for their two tests and three ODIs - a stark contrast no doubt to when Australia arrive for the much anticipated Ashes series later in the English summer.

Like their trans-Tasman counterparts, New Zealand land in England looking to buck the trend of recent history. It's been 14 years since New Zealand last won a series on England soil, having lost five of their last six tests in England.

"These are two hugely important test matches for us,'' Hesson told reporters overnight.

"We're making progress as a test side and certainly won't like to be the entree for the main course later in the season.

"England's record in England in recent times has been outstanding. It's a tough place to tour and we know that we've got to be on the top of our game.''

The hosts will be well aware they'll be challenged by the Black Caps following a dramatic drawn test series on New Zealand soil earlier in the year.

The Black Caps almost claimed a series win on the final day of the third test but couldn't take the final England wicket at Eden Park which would have secured New Zealand's first series win over England since 1999.

"I've tried to forget about that game,'' Hesson said.

"We felt we dominated the test but what a great game it was. These two tests are going to be tough but we have got to stick to what we do well and what we did well in March in New Zealand.

"Playing in England is the pinnacle and the guys are very excited.''

The Black Caps open their tour with a three-day game against Derbyshire starting on Saturday.


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