Black Caps eye South Africa scalp | cricket.com.au

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Black Caps eye South Africa scalp

New Zealand coach heaps praise on pacemen following series win over Bangladesh

New Zealand reckon their Test cricket mojo on home soil is back.

They just hope it's still there when the South African juggernaut arrives.

A 2-0 whitewash of lowly Bangladesh, completed inside three playing days in the second Test at Christchurch, matches the outcome when Pakistan toured in November.

Four of their last five home series have been wins and they've only lost twice in their last 17 home Tests.

The setbacks both came a year ago when the visiting Australians triumphed 2-0.

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Coach Mike Hesson says four successive Test wins, lifting them to fifth in the world rankings, suggests new skipper Kane Williamson is settling into the role and has his men firing on the green grass of home.

"There was a bit of an aberration there where we were outplayed by Australia but other than that we've been pretty good at home," Hesson said.

"Against Bangladesh, in every game we were under pressure at certain times but we responded in the right way. It wasn't a complete performance at any stage but I'm still happy."

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The fielding was generally poor and the batting competent against an inexperienced Tigers attack.

What pleased Hesson most was the work of pacemen Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner on the final day at Hagley Oval, employing skill and aggression to roll the tourists for 173.

"I thought yesterday was probably our best performance with the ball for 12 months, in terms of our consistency and the areas that we bowled.

"Just that sustained pressure, it was a really nice step up for us."

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The challenge now will be focusing on the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series and then limited overs showdowns with the Proteas.

Then comes a three-Test series against the third-ranked South Africans, the obvious main course in a marathon home summer.

Hesson hopes New Zealand's current form in the whites can be rekindled in six weeks' time.

"The game is about ups and downs. You're very rarely firing on all cylinders for 100 per cent of the time," he said.

Quick Single: NZ crush hapless Bangladesh

It would be a surprise if Hesson strays far from his current group for the three Tests.

He praised the influential nature of the 98 scored by under-pressure No.5 Henry Nicholls in Christchurch.

Hesson also had no problem with the make-up of his middle order, suggesting Colin de Grandhomme has the inside running to remain as fourth seamer ahead of fellow allrounders Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham.

Hesson has previously said the additional pace of Lockie Ferguson would be considered at Test level but the Auckland quick may struggle to prise apart the Boult-Southee-Wagner axis anytime soon.