Smith: Australia not underestimating Kiwis


Captain Steve Smith insisted Australia are not underestimating trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand heading into the second Test in Perth.

Smith and Co. were a class above as Australia claimed a comprehensive 208-run first-up win in Brisbane on Monday.

David Warner, Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja led the way at the Gabba, punishing a toothless and underdone Kiwi bowling attack that managed to take just eight wickets in two innings.

Black Caps spinner Mark Craig was the pick of the bowlers, after posting figures of 3-78 in Australia's second dig, as paceman Tim Southee struggled with a back injury and failed to bowl in the second innings.

But as Australia - unchanged for the WACA showdown starting on Friday - look to wrap up the three-Test series with victory in Perth, Smith told reporters on Thursday that the New Zealanders are not being treated lightly.

"They're a quality line-up," said Smith, whose Australia team are winners in four of their last five Test matches in Western Australia.

"They've played some good cricket over the last couple of years and they're a good side.

"Hopefully we can start off well the first day and drive the game from there.

"I think we did that really well in Brisbane and I think that's really important here."

While New Zealand struggled in the opening Test, Kane Williamson was a rare shining light for the tourists.

Williamson was New Zealand's only resistance against a relentless Aussie bowling attack, including Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, after scoring 140 and 59 in Brisbane.

The 25-year-old is averaging 96.4 runs in 2015, his highest rate in a calendar year, and he will be again expected to lead from the front for the Kiwis, who have only won one of their past 24 Test matches versus Australia.

"Of all the gun batsmen going around, he would be the one I'd choose to bat for my life," former Australia captain Allan Border told

"Over AB de Villiers, in front of Steve Smith, in front of Warner, in front of all of them.

"Technically, he's probably as equipped as any of them because I think he can take that technique to all different types of pitches."