Wellington: New Zealand unveiled a spin-heavy attack Monday for the opening round of their World Test Championship campaign against Sri Lanka next month.
Coach Gary Stead named four spinners in his 15-man squad for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka that will mark both teams' debut in the new world championship that runs through to 2021.
Stead said the Sri Lankan wickets were expected to turn and he was adopting a "horses-for-courses" strategy in selecting Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville, Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle.
"Playing three spinners is an option in Sri Lankan conditions and we believe this group provides the best variations and skill mix on offer," he said.
The reliance on spin means quicks Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson miss out, with Stead opting for Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme.
The long-awaited Test championship will see nine nations vying for points in home and away series in a bid to reach a deciding match at Lord's in June 2021.
New Zealand will play 14 Tests against six nations as part of the competition.
Stead said the Black Caps were ready for a new challenge after their dramatic defeat in the ODI World Cup final, when the scores were tied after regular play and a super over, but England won because they scored more boundaries.
"It's good timing for us after the World Cup," he said.
"It was an incredible time for the team and the country, but we're now excited to move forward as a group and sink our teeth into another opportunity."
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Will Somerville, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.
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Patel became only the third bowler in the history of Test cricket to grab all 10 wickets in an innings as India ended the day with a 332-run lead after bowling the Black Caps out for a paltry 62.
Williamson was ruled out of the second Test against India on the morning of the first day with the nagging injury and Stead confirmed on Tuesday that he is likely to sit out at least eight or nine weeks
Jim Laker, for England against Australia in 1956, and Anil Kumble, for India against Pakistan in 1999, were the only bowlers to have previously taken all 10 wickets in a Test innings before Ajaz Patel on Saturday.