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NZ to change bowling mix for Wellington

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/03/2017

Kiwi 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 will serve as the side's first-choice spinner.

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

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

Southee was left out with twirlers Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner both preferred 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 was.

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

"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."

The Wellington pitch may favour pace but New Zealand are likely to return to playing two spinners on a turning Hamilton wicket in the third Test.

Patel had earlier been picked for the side's fourth ODI match against the Proteas in Hamilton, where he snared de Kock's wicket.

"We struggled to get Quinton out, he'd obviously got three 50s in a row and played a pretty significant hand," Kiwi mentor Mike Hesson said.

"I think Quinton is a good enough player to not be consumed by that too much.

"To be fair Jeetan's bowled a few crackers at him, (so) long may that continue."

South African skipper Faf du Plessis admitted his surprise at how much Kiwi pitches had changed over the course of his career.

In the past, South Africa wouldn't have felt the need to bring more than one spinner to the Shaky Isles.

"We haven't played on wickets like this in New Zealand before," du Plessis said.

"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 on tour in Keshav Maharaj, but have indicated they may bring in a second for Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Hesson admitted his side's DRS review decision-making process needed work.

"[It's] probably something we need to firm up on," he said.

"You do have to take a little bit of time to gather information.

"We probably let the emotion take over and make an instant decision, which in the end obviously wasn't right."

There were three DRS changers in Dunedin.

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