The Black Caps have suffered an injury scare two days out from their three-test series against Australia which begins in Perth on Thursday.

Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor was struck on his right thumb during a net session this afternoon and was forced to leave practice early.

However, the Black Caps downplayed the injury, saying it didn't need scans and only required quick icing.

The Black Caps haven't won a test series in Australia since 1985, but Aussie batsman Steve Smith said the world No. 2 team would represent a huge challenge.


"They kind of sneak under the radar every now and again," Smith said. "They've got some quality players and they play well as a team, so we can't take them lightly by any stretch of the imagination.

"They've got some really good players. Kane Williamson their captain is a terrific batsman and one that we really have to be really focused on.

"Ross Taylor scored some big runs here last time and their bowling attack have been together for a while and have formed a good partnership together."


Australia could be forced to contend with its second tearaway rookie quick in the space of a month with New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson in line for a possible Test debut as the Kiwis arrive Down Under with a string of matchwinners

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has hailed this touring side as the strongest ever to compete on Australian shores and Ferguson may add to the talent-laden line-up if Trent Boult fails to overcome a side strain before Thursday's first Test in Perth.

The Black Caps are fresh off a 1-0 series win over England at home and sit at No. 2 in the Test world rankings. McCullum says his countrymen pose a serious threat to the Aussies because they boast a star-studded XI that can do damage with bat and ball.

Captain Kane Williamson is one of the world's best batsmen, Taylor averages more than 47 from 96 Tests, Tom Latham has scored five centuries in his past eight Tests and BJ Watling is fresh off a double ton against the Poms.


"They've got, in my opinion, once-in-a-generation cricketers littered throughout that line-up," McCullum told SEN Breakfast.

"Williamson, Taylor, (Trent) Boult, (Tim) Southee and now you can also add Watling and Latham to that too.

"I don't think we've ever seen a stronger New Zealand side personally. They are also bringing over good form and I'm sure they will be up for the challenge.

"They've targeted this series for a long, long time.

"The opportunity to come over and show their wares on Australian soil, I think for a New Zealander is one of the biggest challenges … the boys will be fizzing for it."

McCullum hopes selectors hand Ferguson a Test cap if Boult is injured and if the speedster does get a run in Perth, it will come just three weeks after Pakistan's teenage sensation Naseem Shah bowled with great pace in the Gabba Test, albeit with David Warner's scalp on 154 his only reward.

Ferguson has already played 44 short-form matches for New Zealand, and was a star of this year's World Cup as he sent the ball down at speeds of beyond 150km/h.

"Lockie has done extremely well in white-ball cricket in his start to his international career," Black Caps quick Tim Southee said.

"He has got a great first-class record with the red ball, and has been around the group for a wee while with the England series.

"He is just waiting his chance. He obviously brings out and out pace with Tim and I swinging it. And Neil (Wagner) brings his own unique style to the game as well.

"So it's nice to have another variation sitting there waiting for his chance."

New Zealand overlooked Ferguson for the second Test against England last week, opting for Matt Henry ahead of the 28-year-old.

But it's thought the Optus Stadium wicket could suit Ferguson.

Meanwhile Wagner will also play his first Test on Australian soil, with New Zealand's side looking as settled as it has in years.

"Neil will be thoroughly excited about the chance to play a Test match in Australia," Southee said.

"Neil will do Neil's thing and he's been brilliant for us for a long period of time in different conditions.

"It's a side that has been reasonably settled for a long time but it's nice to have Lockie Ferguson who can bowl out and out pace."