Australia are everyone's favourites to add the Twenty-20 World Cup to their bulging trophy cabinet when the inaugural championship begins next week, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori said on Monday.
Vettori, who took over from Stephen Fleming as captain of the Black Caps' one-day side after the 50-over ICC World Cup in the Caribbean, said New Zealand were part of a chasing pack but admitted the Australians were a class apart.
"Australia are always the team that come out on top of any predictions," Fleming told reporters in Johannesburg.
"I would say they are the favourites and then you can throw a blanket around the rest of the Test teams and everyone's got a good chance."
Australia, who lifted the World Cup in Barbados in April after beating England in the Ashes, were due to arrive in South Africa on Tuesday.
Rookie skipper Vettori has only ever played one Twenty20 match but he said he would be able to lean on teammates who had more experience of the format from playing in English county cricket.
"We've got guys in the team who have played a number of games and got the feel of it," said the left-arm spinner.
Fleming's absence should be an opportunity for big-hitters like Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum to be the mainstay of the middle order, said Vettori who denied that spinners should necessarily fear for their figures.
"I think it can be a spinners' game. If you look at England, their spinners have been reasonably dominant."
New Zealand, who have also been drawn alongside Sri Lanka, are due to begin their campaign against Kenya in Durban on September 12.
The tournament begins on September 11 when South Africa take on the West Indies in Johannesburg.