England won't make the mistake of underestimating New Zealand as a test unit says senior bowler Jimmy Anderson.

The veteran swing man has high praise for New Zealand, who go into the inaugural pink ball test, starting at Eden Park next week, after losing their ODI series 3-2 to England, but on the back of a 2-0 home test series win over the weak West Indies in December.

''They're a really good side. They've got a really good formula that works for them in New Zealand,'' Anderson said.

''They have a fairly settled side and obviously (captain) Kane Williamson's one of the best batsmen in the world and a very good captain.''

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Anderson admires New Zealand's bowling attack and pointed out they play well in their own conditions.

''They know how to win here so we've got to be on really good form.''

In 12 tests against New Zealand, Anderson's taken 52 wickets at 27.1 apiece. He's nabbed 18 in five tests in New Zealand.

He took 55 wickets in 12 tests last year at a cracking 17.58 each. He should find conditions to his liking at Eden Park, especially under lights with the pink ball and in Christchurch, which can be useful for fast-medium bowlers.

Consider that New Zealand have taken 71 of 72 wickets in the four tests at Hagley Oval through fast-medium bowlers.

Anderson tried to take some of the sting out of England's 4-0 tonking by Australia in their Ashes series earlier in the summer.

''It looks like we got thrashed but in each test I don't think we were that far away,'' he said.

"We showed glimpses of some good form in the Ashes.

"The job for us to do in this series is to try to improve on that, and do the good things for longer periods of time.

''We got ourselves into games at certain times and it was a bad half hour or an hour here and there that really cost us in the games we lost. I think that's the learning curve for us.''

Lancastrian Anderson arrives for his third test visit with 523 test wickets from his 134
matches. Only Australian Glenn McGrath's 563 are ahead of him among fast bowlers on the alltime wicket list, and Anderson sits fifth overall.

He won't catch McGrath during the two-test series unless he takes all 40 New Zealand wickets in the two tests which would be some feat. In any case Anderson's relaxed about that.

''I'm not too fussed about those wickets.

''The next landmark for me is getting through these two tests unscathed.

''If I can, keep my fitness, stay out on the field and put some performances in, help us win the series, then I'll be happy.''