Wellington (IANS): New Zealand's frontline batsman and former skipper Ross Taylor was ruled out for the second Test against India starting Friday since his wife is expecting their second child anytime during the match.
Skipper Brendon McCullum said that batsman Tom Latham and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham will make their debuts.
Latham will come in at No.4 while Neesham will replace leggie Ish Sodhi as the Kiwis will field a five-man pace attack in their bid for a 2-0 Test win. Kane Williamson will be a part-time off-spinner if required.
"With this wicket the best method of attack against the Indian side is to roll out another seamer," McCullum said.
McCullum said his pacers would be excited with the green top at the Basin Reserve. However, the strip will be different from the one on which the Kiwis thrashed West Indies by an innings and 73 runs in December.
"It looks a little bit greener than what we had against West Indies and looks a bit harder as well. We expect a bit of pace and bounce and maybe a bit of sideways movement as well," McCullum said.
"What worked for us best against the West Indies was the ability for us to swing the ball in the air. Hopefully with some still days the ball seems to swing here, and that's what's forecast over the next few days."
McCullum, who has lost six tosses on the trot in the series, said he would bowl first if he wins the maiden toss on the tour.
"Obviously we'll look to have a bowl if we win the toss. But if we find ourselves batting we have Neesham at eight, we have quite a bit of batting. We've been in some precarious positions having to bat first this summer and we've come through those tests pretty well," he said.
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