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Black Caps look to comforts of home

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/01/2017

Mitchell Santner. © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images Mitchell Santner. Blacks Caps allrounder Mitchell Santner is hopeful the comforts of home will help them turn the tables on Australia in the coming Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series.

Australia hardly raised a sweat across the Tasman in December when they cruised to a 3-0 home series sweep and have been just as dominant of late with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Pakistan.

But Santner, speaking to journalists before it emerged that Australia captain Steve Smith will miss the series with an ankle injury, said being on home soil may help the hosts close the gap on the world's No.1-ranked side.

"Hopefully in our own conditions we can produce wickets that suit us a little better on grounds we're more familiar with."

The first match of the three-game series is at Eden Park which has proved a happy hunting ground for the hosts with them downing Australia by 159 runs early last year to kickstart the side to a 2-1 series win.

Santner claimed wickets with the only two balls in that match after Trent Boult and Matt Henry had claimed three scalps each to set the hosts on the way to victory but expects to bowl a lot more deliveries at the odd-shaped ground on Monday.

He won't have to deal with the in-form David Warner who is sitting out the series along with Usman Khawaja and the left-arm spinner is pleased he won't face his flashing blade.

"He has hit me around the park a few times ... but Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch are very destructive at the top as well.

"We'll still have to do scouting on new players and still bowl in good areas."

The Black Caps had gone into the December series confident of putting up a strong fight only to struggle and the closest they came to their hosts was a 68-run loss in the first match.

But Santner says revenge is not on their minds.

"It's always nice to beat them after they beat you ... but you can't go into the series with that attitude of revenge.

"Every time we play Australia it's a pretty big thing."

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