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NZ to change bowling mix for Wellington

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/03/2017
Swing bowler Tim Southee © Dianne Manson/Getty Images Swing bowler Tim Southee

Swing bowler Tim Southee will probably return to the playing XI for the second Test against South Africa in Wellington, but it's not clear who the first-choice spinner in the New Zealand side is.

Following the drawn opener in Dunedin, where the hosts played two spinners at home for the first time in seven years, captain Kane Williamson concedes things will likely to return to normal for the Basin Reserve, where the match starts on Thursday.

"History suggests it doesn't take a huge amount of turn," he said.

Southee was left out and offspinner Jeetan Patel and incumbent twirler Mitchell Santner both played in Dunedin, but Patel sent down nearly twice as many overs and twice removed dangerman Quinton de Kock.

Williamson was diplomatic when asked who the first-choice spinner is.

"I think we have the luxury of having a few high-quality spinners in the country that all do different things.

"That is probably the main consideration going into a game, looking at what strengths we have and matching them up to the surface and potentially how we can target some players in the opposition."

The Wellington pitch may favour pace, but New Zealand are also likely to play the third Test with two spinners again, where the Hamilton pitch takes turn.

South African skipper Faf du Plessis admits he is surprised at how New Zealand pitches have changed.

In the past South Africa hadn't felt the need for more than one spinner here.

"We haven't played on wickets like this in New Zealand before.

"I don't know if that is a genuine tactic for the New Zealand team or just how the different pitches have changed."

South Africa have only one specialist spinner in their squad Keshav Maharaj, but have indicated they may think about bringing in a second for Hamilton.

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