A desperate Aussie cricket writer is pleading for New Zealand to take Australia to the wire in the three-test series which starts next week.

And Sydney Morning Herald columnist Greg Baum says there is something different about Kane Williamson's team, compared to previous Kiwi contingents.

Baum has also highlighted New Zealand's appalling record in Australia – they have triumphed in one series and won only three tests.

"Um, c'mon New Zealand," he writes.


"That is, come on and walk the talk. The summer needs it. Cricket needs it.

"That is not to say come and beat Australia…no-one on this side of the ditch would dare advocate that, except for all those from that side who are on this side anyway."

Baum lamented a two test series against Pakistan which was high on individual performances and low on competitiveness.

"That wasn't so surprising. For all the many sublime cricketers Pakistan has produced, they have always been toothless in Australia. They've won four Tests here, ever," he writes.

"So how many have the Kiwis won? Would you believe it's three? Two were in one series in 1985, when the peerless Richard Hadlee took 33 wickets in three Tests. The other was in Hobart in 2011.

"It's a paltry tally, fewer than you might imagine. Partly, that's down to too few meetings. For decades at a time, Australia barely deigned. The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy became like a Christmas decoration, spending most of its time in a drawer."

He summarises New Zealand's cricket status as being 'geopolitically no-one" due to a lack of financial clout. This lack of influence is why the day-night first test is in Perth, taking play well past midnight in New Zealand.

But they can punch above their weight on the field, their best teams relying heavily on a few stars like Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe backed by ingenuity and doggedness.


"Kane Williamson's team is different," Baum reckons.

"He's an authentic star, a slimline heavyweight, but the feature of both batting and bowling – as long as Trent Boult and Colin De Grandhomme are fit – is that they run impressively deep. England found it hard to get them all out and keep them all out.

"Australia at home are formidable. But it is possible that in the series against Pakistan, they were flattered to be deceived.

"These are the makings of a fiercely contested series. The Kiwis (are) quietly convinced that this is their moment to seize."

He said a contracted test scene included an unofficial second division.

"It means the Test format, like netball, bottoms out at four teams. It means the Kiwis are here as the major tourists, playing on the MCG for the first time for nearly a quarter of a century and the SCG for only the third time," he wrote.


"For the vitality of the game as well as their own sake, they need to measure up to billing and expectations. So c'mon New Zealand, a bit."