India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and had no hesitation putting New Zealand into bat on a wicket with a considerable green top at the Basin Reserve on Friday.
Dhoni has won every toss in New Zealand without leading his side to victory after losing the one-dayers 4-0 and the first Test by 40 runs.
New Zealand have made two changes to their successful Test side as they look to wrap up the series.
Tom Latham comes in for Ross Taylor whose wife is due to give birth during the match, and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham replaces leg-spinner Ish Sodhi to give New Zealand five seamers on the green wicket.
India "do not have the luxury of a seaming all-rounder" in their squad like New Zealand and have retained the same side that lost the first Test, Dhoni said.
Although winning the toss should favour India, the Basin Reserve has not been a happy hunting ground for them since they won the first Test they played there in 1968.
In five Tests since they have lost four and drawn one.
The last time New Zealand played in Wellington, they beat the West Indies in December by an innings and 73 runs.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Tom Latham, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Tim Southee, Jimmy Neesham, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
India: MS Dhoni (c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
Umpires: Steve Davis (ENG), Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
TV umpire: Derek Walker (NZL)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)