Black Caps turn attention to white ball and Chappell-Hadlee series across the Tasman
With heads still spinning following the dramatic test win over Pakistan in Hamilton, and still throbbing following the justifiable celebrations, the Black Caps were swiftly boarding a plane to Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, looking to carry their good spirits into the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series.
It's a rapid transition back to the white-ball format, with the first of three matches at the SCG on Sunday, as New Zealand look to defend the silverware ahead of the return series in January/February.
Fresh off the dramatic finish at Seddon Park, where they ripped out nine wickets in the final session for a stunning 138-run win to claim the series 2-0, the Black Caps will take confidence with them across the ditch.
Despite the change in format, captain Kane Williamson said any sort of momentum was handy.
"One thing I do know is winning's a lot better than losing, so I guess it's nice coming away with a series win, having played very good cricket as a unit," Williamson said.
"In saying that, the change in format, also the change in side, means that it is a separate challenge.
"It is important you bring yourself back to the challenges that are in front of you."
Eight of the Black Caps' XI from Hamilton are in the 14-strong ODI squad, and while coach Mike Hesson felt some players from the test arena would carry confidence in, he noted his troops had performed well in the one-day scene for a while anyway.
"We're top three in the world and we have been for the last couple of years," he said. "So we're a reliable white-ball side. [It's] quite an exciting group, but not as experienced as perhaps we have been since the World Cup. So that provides opportunity. A lot of these guys have never played in Australia. There'll be some good crowds, I'm sure, over there, plenty of hostility, and for any New Zealand team going over there it's an exciting time, so we're looking forward to it."
With Ross Taylor having surgery on his eye on Wednesday, New Zealand will have a shuffled batting lineup, though Hesson did note Taylor wasn't there for the previous Chappell-Hadlee series either and that Henry Nicholls did a good job.
There are a bunch of all-rounders to consider, with the return from injury of Colin Munro, a possible debut for leg-spinner Todd Astle on a Sydney track which could turn, and the re-birth of Colin de Grandhomme, having impressed in the test series.
"I think he's more reliable with the ball than some of our all-rounders," Hesson said. "He offers us the ability to bowl closer to 10 overs, if conditions suit. He bowls at the death a lot in domestic cricket, so he's had plenty of experience there. And I think we've seen glimpses with the bat how destructive he can be. An hour of watching Colin bat, the game can change, and that's always nice, to have those guys in your side."
Then there's raw speedster Lockie Ferguson, who was the shock inclusion in the squad and who Hesson said was not just there to learn about the environment.
"We're not taking anyone who we're not expecting to play a role if required," Hesson said.
"So Lockie's certainly a point of difference for us. We'll have to look at the surface and see where we might best utilise him, but he's certainly very much an option."
Hesson confirmed Trent Boult was tracking "very well" for Sunday, with the left-arm quick missing the Hamilton test due to a knee niggle which flared up, but then getting through a full fitness test on Tuesday.
"So he's recovered. I think when you know you've only got to bowl 10 overs, it's a lot easier than obviously the demands of the test match."
Martin Guptill sat out Auckland's Plunket Shield match last week to rest a shoulder problem, and Hesson said he would be fine.
"He's had an issue throwing for a while, but had a cortisone [injection] a few days ago."
Australia are coming off a 2-1 test series defeat to South Africa, having gained a consolation win with the pink ball in Adelaide, and despite the shake-up of their test side of late, Hesson noted they were still a real force in the 50-over format.
"Their one-day side's very settled, they're one-day side is experienced, they're still [number] one in the world."
A 3-0 series defeat would see Australia lose their No 1 ranking to South Africa, while if the Black Caps lose the series they'll slip behind India to No 4.