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James Anderson is expecting nothing less than “a good fight” when New Zealand provide the opposition in England's first two Tests of the summer.
The Black Caps arrived in the UK earlier this week, having exceeded many people's expectations by holding Alastair Cook`s men to a 0-0 draw in the reverse rubber that took place in March.
During that series, England were made to work hard for their wickets and runs, with only a last-day rearguard ensuring they avoided defeat in the decider at Auckland.
New Zealand's resilience did not surprise Anderson, who has now faced them in eight Tests, and the Lancashire paceman anticipates stiff competition when the two teams join battle again at Lord's and Headingley.
“Whenever I've played against New Zealand they've always been a really strong side and a team that always puts up a good fight,” Anderson told ecb.co.uk.
“I don't expect anything different here. We know it's going to be difficult.”
Anderson believes he and the rest of England's attack can use the recent meetings with the Kiwis to their advantage.
“If we're honest, we didn't bowl as well as we could do. We're going to have to take what we can from that series and try and improve going into the summer,” he reasoned.
“We've learned a lot about their batsmen from the series we've just played against them. Hopefully the English conditions will help us a little bit more and we can put some good plans into place to get them out.”
England will not allow themselves to be distracted by the 10 Ashes Tests that follow their short series with New Zealand.
“We've got a huge summer ahead so we really want to kickstart the summer with a good series win,” Anderson added.
“They (New Zealand) are going to come over here and think they can beat us. We're going to have to start strongly and I think when we play at our best we do think about the present rather than looking too far ahead.
“If we start looking towards the Ashes and things like that, then we can take our eye off the ball with what's happening now, so we've really got to concentrate hard.”
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