It's clear the Black Caps will be facing an in-form Australian side when the two sides begin a highly anticipated three-test series this month.

Tim Paine's side wrapped up a series win over Pakistan in more convincing fashion yesterday - thrashing the tourists by an innings and 48 runs in Adelaide. They won the first test in Brisbane by an innings and five runs.

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The New Zealand series begins in Perth on December 12 followed by the Boxing Day test in Melbourne, New Zealand's return to the traditional fixture for the first time since 1987, and the third test in Sydney.

New Zealand have only won one series in Australia, led by Richard Hadlee in 1985-86, and haven't won a test on Australian soil since 2011 in Hobart.


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Australia seemed to look vulnerable in the wake of last year's sandpaper cheating scandal but have gone back to their dominant ways with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, making easy work of Pakistan over two tests.

Australia lost just three wickets in the second test in Adelaide which was won on day four after batting first and declaring on 589 for three.

That's a worrying number for New Zealand. Australia have scored 500 plus in four of the past five tests against the Black Caps.

Warner finished with 489 runs across two innings to take his career average against Pakistan to 108.40 in seven tests. His next best average? Against New Zealand. A side he averages 71.27 in 14 innings including four centuries. Although he had a lean series in New Zealand in 2016.

Aussie paceman Mitchell Starc took 14 wickets against Pakistan ripping through their middle order.

"He destroyed the Pakistan middle order and sent a message to New Zealand ahead of its upcoming tour. This version of Starc is bowling with some serious heat, attacking the stumps and doing all sorts of damage," Liam Twomey of the Herald Sun said of Starc in his player ratings following the Pakistan series.

New Zealand will also take some form into the series having amassed 615 for nine in the first test win over England in Mount Maunganui and look set for secure a series win today in Hamilton. While Ross Taylor (290 in Perth) and Kane Williamson (140 in Brisbane) produced remarkable knocks the last time New Zealand was in Australia in 2015.


'Well-drilled side with class players'

Paine said yesterday he'd been watching the New Zealand series against England and saw a well-drilled side with class players.

"I have never played a Test against New Zealand," Paine said. "I have certainly watched them the last few mornings and they look like they are a really disciplined, well-drilled Test team. They always fight and scrap really hard.

"It looks like now they still have that fight and scrap in them but they also have some class players as well. I can't wait and I know the boys in the sheds are really looking forward to it. We love playing in big series and the way both sides are playing at the moment, it is shaping up as exactly that. It is going to be a really tough, competitive [series] – it is going to be a big series. Both sides are playing well so it is exciting."