Corey Anderson's winter of discontent can be finally put to rest at Bay Oval today.
The 25-year-old allrounder will make his first appearance in a Black Caps shirt since he was invalided out of the England tour last June. He will play as a specialist batsman in the Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka but his back injury has healed sufficiently for him to be back bowling on January 20.
It has been a long and arduous process for the former Cantabrian who now calls Tauranga home.
"I have had a couple of months on the domestic scene now and watching the guys on the couch has been pretty tough at times. It is nice to be back in the environment. I have been out of the international game for a while now and intensity is a lot more than it is in the domestic game," Anderson said.
"I have been bowling slowly in the background and bowling is feeling really good. It will be one of those things I will do day by day still and once I feel confident enough to get back on the park with the bowling then we will do that."
Anderson proved in his last two innings of 88 and 98 in the Ford Trophy for the Northern Knights that he is close to his swashbuckling best with the blade.
"It has been nice to contribute for Northern Districts and get some time in the middle. Being a sole batter there with no bowling loads has meant I have to get runs; it's my job there. It is always nice to go back to the domestic scene and prove a point and come back into this series with a bit of form.
"The ground [Bay Oval] looks immaculate and the crowd they had there was phenomenal and hopefully they can turn out again."
Anderson moved from Christchurch to Tauranga three years ago in a massive step for him but one he is pleased he made.
"It was a tough move to be fair. It is always hard cutting the umbilical cord from mum and leaving. I have fallen in love with the place and there is quite a core group of us here now with of course Kane [Williamson] and Trent [Boult] and Tim [Southee] looking to move. It is a good base and good hub to work from and I know all the Black Cap boys love coming here."
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson is impressed with the Bay Oval as an international venue but says the pitch still needs more work.
"The pitch will get better in time. It was pretty good [Tuesday] but it just needs to get a little bit more pace in it," Hesson said. "I know [turf manager] Jared [Carter] is working pretty hard to achieve that."
* Black Caps v Sri Lanka
* Bay Oval, today 3pm
* Tickets: premier.ticketek.co.nz or at the gate.