Australian cricket star Steve Smith has provided a warning about what to expect from the Perth pitch as the Black Caps and Australian prepare for the first test on Thursday.
While the wicket at Optus Stadium will have comparatively little scrutiny when compared to the Melbourne Cricket Ground's pitch problems ahead of the Boxing Day test, Smith still noted what he was expecting from the Perth pitch - and how it can mess with a batsman's confidence.
"We've seen here in the past - the cracks come into play late in the game.
"If it's as hot as it says it's going to be, they could potentially come into play. It's something that plays on your mind. You look down and you see these things [but] generally the balls that get you out don't touch the cracks, they're sort of just playing on your mind."
The fact that the test is a day-night pink-ball encounter could also make things interesting, Smith said.
"It's just different – how the pink ball responds. Sometimes when the wicket's really hard, it can soften that ball up. It can be 10-15 overs when the ball's new which can be hard work, but then good for batting for 50-60 overs. I think it'll be about us just summing it up and seeing how it plays and adapting really quick. I'm sure the first few days it'll hold together really well."
Smith also commented on the MCG pitch, after a Sheffield Shield game was abandoned after the wicket was deemed 'unplayable'.
Despite concerns over what he had seen in the clash, Smith hoped that the game would still be held at the MCG.
"It's a really tough one. The wicket down there for some time has been really flat and they're trying to get a bit of life into it to make it an even contest between bat and ball.
"This time there was a bit of moisture in the wicket from what I've heard … and when it hardened up the divots took over and it became dangerous.
"It's a really fine line…they'll be trying really hard to get a wicket that is suitable.
"I'd love for it to stay (at the MCG). It's part of tradition in Australian cricket."