There's no question the Black Caps could get a right pasting in the test series against South Africa but that thought does not dampen my enthusiasm for it. I'm just excited about seeing two interesting bowling attacks.
Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult and Tim Southee have begun to win me over as an attack that can bowl teams out in batsmen-friendly conditions. Theycombine as a unit and use the art of swing bowling.
Unfortunately, for this series, that unit has been broken with the injury to Southee but that just adds a little intrigue. It would be unfair not to recall Chris Martin, given he's a test specialist and next in line. Or they could go for Neil Wagner. But this Mitchell McClenaghan has really caught the eye and has me salivating a bit.
I've been desperate to see raw pace in the Black Caps and McClenaghan has it. I'd hoped to see Adam Milne but it hasn't happened so it could be McClenaghan's chance.
Then there's Bruce Martin. Okay, he's 32 but he's fit and agile, has played 110 first class matches and taken 304 wickets. Most importantly he turns the ball and has an 'attack-first' mentality.
We've tried legspin options and not quite found the quality so it's back to the finger spinners. Martin has waited a long time and, if he plays, I reckon he'll take it. If he provides Vettori-like overs but with a bit more spin we could actually have a bowling stable worthy of being called a 'genuine test attack'.
I'll tell you what is a genuine test attack - Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander. This pace trio is what test cricket is all about. It's about a country's best and most damaging bowlers combining to bowl sides out.
This is something T20 cricket has diminished somewhat. Devastating fast bowlers have been given a softer option to prolong their careers.
Fast bowlers for me are the real entertainers of world cricket. I love seeing them roar in - at someone other than me. They demand their batting opponents not only show skill but a high level of bravery too.
Confrontations last for far more satisfying times than the run- necessary environment that prevails in T20. Steyn and Morkel will try to intimidate the Black Caps batsmen out and Philander will work them out. If they do as expected and reduce our batting to rubble, I won't be too disappointed because I'm watching it done by the best.
Hands up who didn't, in some masochistic way, enjoy watching the carnage the West Indies of the 80s inflicted.By Mark Richardson Email Mark