New Zealand is optimistic about putting in a good performance against Australia in the forthcoming Test series after three key batsmen — Jesse Ryder (175), Brendon McCullum (146) and captain Ross Taylor (138) scored big hundreds against Australia ‘A' in a drawn four-day match.

The tourists feel that they are within reach of ending their 26-year wait for a Test win on Australian soil.

Ranked eighth in the world to Australia's fourth, the Kiwis are at full strength leading into Thursday's first Test at the Gabba here. The Australians, on the other hand, have been forced to rest five of their players due to injury, and pick untried quicks Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Ben Cutting.

It is not simply the trio of large scores at Allan Border Field that leave New Zealand confident, particularly in their batting. “Not only that, I think the top seven have got hundreds in the last two first-class matches back home,” Taylor said.

Taylor said: “We've had a bit of a look at their players and what they have to offer. Starc and Cutting bowled to our emerging players in the winter so we have seen a bit of them, hopefully we can continue the form we showed out there.” — ANI

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