AUCKLAND – New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the coin and on Thursday chose the field in the first test of a series of two matches against England at Eden Park.
New Zealand named his party on Wednesday for a day-long test, with batsman Ross Taylor following a thigh injury that bounced him out of two of the five-day matches earlier this month.
Legspinner Todd Astle replaced the wounded Mitchell Santner while the keeper is BJ Watling recovered from hip injury and returned to Tom Blundell, who played the series in December against West India.
“We’ll face it first and use it and we hope there will be something, because we do not think it will get worse,” Williamson said.
“It’s quite exciting, there are a lot of unknowns because there was not a very pink ball cricket.”
Versatile Ben Stokes, who picked up a back injury during the one-day series, was confirmed in English and Craig Overton is coming as another player if Stokes does not meet during the test.
Batsman James Vince was released to take Overton.
Captain Joe Root, who is to move up to number three, said his party would burn first if he won the throw.
“We should have a bat,” Root said.
“It looks like a good surface, and in the first few hours it could have a bit of life, but at least we are guaranteed that daylight will be in the first two meetings.
“Ben (Stokes) is a day-to-day process, and we have to keep track of him, and he’ll fire at five, three in three.”
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult.
England: Joe Root (Captain), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moene Ali, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson