Settled Kiwis eye another home Test series win

Happy hunting ground
Tim Southee has been man-of-the-match in the last three Tests in Christchurch. Reuters

Wellington: The only selection issue facing New Zealand as they head into the second match against India at Christchurch is likely to be whether pace bowler Kyle Jamieson, so impressive on his Test debut at the Basin Reserve, bats higher in the order.

Jamieson made a big impression in the hosts' 10-wicket victory in the opener of the two-match series, capturing 4/39 in the first innings and then scoring 44 in a rearguard action.

The 25-year-old is almost certain to retain his place in the team for the match, starting on Saturday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, despite the return of Neil Wagner, who missed the Wellington game due to the birth of his first child.

"What you saw with Kyle is that he has the capability to bat higher," coach Gary Stead said this week. "The way he played I thought was outstanding. He did a really good job for us."

With New Zealand only needing a draw to secure a sixth successive home series victory, Stead has moved to dampen expectations they would take four seamers into the match alongside all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme.

A decision is not expected until they get a look at the pitch.

New Zealand's frontline spin bowlers, however, have had little success at Hagley Oval in the six previous Tests there.

Five different spinners -- Mark Craig, Todd Astle, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and current squad member Ajaz Patel -- have taken just one wicket among them, while swing bowler Tim Southee has been man-of-the-match for the last three Tests.

The best return from a New Zealand slow bowler has been from captain Kane Williamson's part-time off-spin when he took 1/17 against Australia in 2016.

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