New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has said 19-year-old batsman Kane Williamson is unlikely to make his Test debut in Hamilton on Saturday.
The Kiwis are prepared to gamble on a long tail against Australia’s quicks.
Jeetan Patel may be recalled as the team’s second spinner behind Vettori, replacing injured paceman Daryl Tuffey.
Mathew Sinclair is vying for the No.3 batting spot in place of the out-of-form Peter Ingram.
“I’ve played here enough times to realise (the pitch) is probably going to have a bit in it early on but it’s not going to be anything too terrible,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Vettori, as saying on Friday.
“It’ll be a tough first session but it’ll get lower and slower as the game goes on. I think we’ll go in with Jeetan. We’ll refine the squad down to having Kane in the mix of 12, but in the end it’s looking like going in with the five bowlers and me still batting at six,” Vettori added.
Pace bowler Tim Southee is expected to retain his spot against competition from all-rounder James Franklin.
The Kiwis lost 5-9 in their first innings of the first Test in Wellington, eventually losing to Australia by 10 wickets.
Vettori will on Saturday become only the second New Zealand player to reach the 100-Test milestone, behind former skipper Stephen Fleming (111 matches from 1994-2008). (ANI)