The “powerful and impressive” New Zealand T20 side will pose a mighty challenge for Australia according to veteran paceman Andrew Tye.
Australia face the Black Caps in five matches in New Zealand, starting on February 22 in Christchurch.
Tye is part of an 18-man touring squad who have reached the half-way point in their quarantine for the series.
On rankings, Australia, the world’s second-best T20 side, should have too much for the world No.6 team.
However, Australia have left several key players at home after they were selected for the Test tour to South Africa that was cancelled, and no one is doubting the quality of the home outfit.
Coach Andrew McDonald has labelled the Kiwis’ bowling attack the best in New Zealand’s history, and Tye said the batting lineup had plenty of heat too.
“It’s powerful and it’s impressive,” he said on Sunday.
Kiwi selectors have opted for experience over runs by keeping faith in Martin Guptill over young gun Finn Allen.
Guptill is currently nursing a hamstring injury and will be assessed this week, with Allen to get the nod if the 34-year-old fails to respond to treatment.
Tye knows all about Guptill’s strength, given he scored 105 off 54 in a T20 international at Eden Park against Australia three years ago.
“I went for 63 I think that day,” Tye said.
The West Australian eventually took Guptill’s wicket in the 17th over, before Australia chased down New Zealand’s total of 243 for a historic win.
Tye said the Kiwis had the potential to put up huge totals over the next month.
“Pending the fitness test with Martin Guptill, to have him and (Tim) Seifert up top, Kane (Williamson) in there … that’s some power,” he said.
“You look at Kyle Jamieson, he’s showed he can do it with the bat as well as the ball.
“It’s a good squad and will prove a good challenge for us.”