The New Zealand cricket team can rule a line through the Bangladesh clean sweeps on their summer 'To Do' list, and scroll to the more intimidating jobs on the calendar.

The Black Caps' results, winning eight matches across three formats, were commendable but expected. Most victories were convincing, albeit against an injury-stricken opposition in the tests. It was effectively an exercise in mojo replenishment after last month's 3-0 Chappell-Hadlee Trophy loss to Australia, which coach Mike Hesson described as "an aberration".

Hesson and captain Kane Williamson can now sit their 14-man squad down in comfy chairs, preferably with popcorn and a selection of stockpiled Tangy Fruits, to analyse how they return the favour against a David Warner-depleted opposition.

The true gauge of the season is about to be revealed with matches next Monday, Thursday and Sunday, followed by the full South African series.


The pre-Christmas video footage of Australia dispatching New Zealand might require an R18 rating, but it will be necessary to relive the pain as the tourists head here with similar personnel.

"We've got a whole heap of footage on those blokes," Hesson said. "We know we weren't at our best. We probably didn't have the resources that we've got available now.

"It's a huge and exciting series for us; obviously playing in front of big home crowds is going to be important."

Consulting stakeholders who have experienced the Australians first-hand in the Big Bash League might also be prudent. Sydney Sixers squad member Colin Munro will have built some inside knowledge, as will Brisbane Heat coach Daniel Vettori, bowling coach Shane Bond and captain Brendon McCullum, or Melbourne Stars coach Stephen Fleming.

Hesson said Warner's absence reflected the nature of international cricket.

"Most sides either have someone left out at some stage, or injuries. We've certainly been in that boat.

"They've got plenty of good players, though."

Hesson said Tom Latham and Tom Blundell were likely to share the wicketkeeping duties across the series, depending on conditions. That's provided Latham feels up to the task after returning to the gloves in Ford Trophy action for Canterbury against Auckland at Rangiora on Saturday.

If he goes behind the stumps it comes with an opportunity cost as an athletic fielder capable of outstanding catches and tenacious chasing. However, it means an extra all-rounder can be brought into the middle order in Luke Ronchi's groin injury-enforced absence.

Latham has kept for New Zealand in three of his 49 ODIs and four of his 12 T20Is. All those appearances were in 2012 and 2013. He has had always played as a middle order batsman in such circumstances.

"We've got options, won't make that decision until day before the game," Hesson said. "We've used Tom in the past spasmodically, and he's done a good job for us."

Selector Gavin Larsen stressed Blundell was the "frontline" option to keep.

Despite some excellent batting and bowling performances against Bangladesh, catching was a key area for improvement with five dropped in the slip cordon at Hagley Oval.

"It was unique really," Hesson said. "In Wellington it was pretty much everywhere except the slips, in this [Christchurch] test we dropped a relatively tough one early on, and then you lose a bit of confidence.

"Obviously we were pretty ordinary in that department. That's something we're going to have to tidy up.

"Guys like Ross [Taylor] and Tim [Southee] have taken a lot of test catches between them. Obviously Jeet [Raval] is new [to the cordon] but he's been exceptional in the slips since he's been with us.

"They do plenty of work on it, sometimes you drop one and you start thinking about it too much and maybe try a bit hard."