Tom Latham (Left) and Martin Guptill (Right) will look to impress during the series against Australia © Getty Images
Tom Latham (Left) and Martin Guptill (Right) will look to impress during the series against Australia © Getty Images

New Zealand have not won a Test series in Australia for almost 30 years. Led by Brendon McCullum, they will look to end their dry run Down Under; for that, they will have to be at their level best. They were in good form in the previous series, against England in May 2015. While big guns like McCullum, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tim Southee and Trent Boult will be there, they will need support from the others in the team as well. Pramod Ananth lists five New Zealand players to watch out for in this series. Scorecard: Australia vs New Zealand 2015-16, 1st Test at Brisbane

Martin Guptill: Guptill made it back to the Test squad for the first time in two years after he was drafted into the side for the series against England in May. In his four innings he hit a couple of fifties but was dismissed for ducks in the other two. He will have a lot to prove in the series against Australia and could come out with flying colours. He has been in good form in limited-overs and will want to convert his form into the longest format as well. READ: Martin Guptill’s lethal form makes him New Zealand’s Mr Dependable at present

Tom Latham: Guptill’s opening partner Tom Latham had a decent outing against England as well. He scored a couple of fifties but failed to convert them into big scores. Latham’s last century came in November 2014 against Pakistan. He scored a magnificent 131 in the recent 50-Over game against Prime Minister’s XI, which will surely give him the much-needed confidence going into the Test series.

Mitchell Santner: Tipped to be the next Daniel Vettori, Santner, in his brief international career, has shown potential of what he is capable of. His left-arm spin is accurate, and he is no mug with the bat. He can be a handy all-rounder for New Zealand in the future, but Mark Craig is the preferred spinner for the Kiwis at the moment. Although his inclusion was a surprise of sorts, it can just turn out to be a good move if he gets a chance.

Jimmy Neesham: Neesham made an excellent beginning to his international career, scoring a century on Test debut. He followed it up with another century in his next innings against West Indies. He went through a minor slump, and will want to make amends now that he has been selected in the Test team. He is also a decent medium-pacer, but his primary role will be to get big runs in the New Zealand middle-order, which boasts like players like Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. READ: Jimmy Neesham: First New Zealand batsman to score two centuries in as many Tests

Doug Bracewell: Like Neesham, Bracewell has not played a Test since January 2015. He performed well in the recent limited-overs fixture he got. With Tim Southee and Trent Boult opening bowling for New Zealand, Bracewell will be used as first-change. It will be a humongous task to outperform Boult and Southee considering they are in excellent form, but if he can chip in with crucial wickets, especially when others fail, Bracewell will have done his job.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)