One of New Zealand's best test bowling efforts in the John Bracewell era has spelled bad news for one of its most experienced practitioners.
Kyle Mills was a surprise omission from the first test line-up and will fly home today to play State Championship for Auckland, while offspinner Jeetan Patel arrives. The selectors signalled some time ago that Patel would be flown over to bolster the spin bowling ranks ahead of the second test at Adelaide Oval.
Mark Gillespie, who has yet to be used in a test in Bangladesh or Australia this season, will remain with the squad as Patel flies west.
Extra batsman Peter Fulton, who was not originally scheduled to tour, will stay with the team and could find himself preferred to Grant Elliott for the second test.
A gutted Mills said he would use the time with Auckland to find and maintain some rhythm. "I was really disappointed not to play here especially as the conditions up here and the humidity really suit my style of swing bowling," he said.
"I will go home to get a bit of cricket because if I stayed here and not played at Adelaide it would have meant three weeks without a game. While I haven't played here I have been working hard in the nets wherever possible."
Patel will almost certainly come into the match 11, either for Elliott or perhaps Tim Southee. If it were Southee, it would be a harsh call on the youngster who made such an impact here on day one.
However, dropping the extra batsman at No 7, whether it be Elliott or Fulton, would lengthen the tail further.
While it would be a stretch to call the Adelaide Oval spin-friendly these days - a batsman's paradise would be a more accurate description - it has a reputation for taking turn.
When New Zealand last played a test there in 2004 they carried Daniel Vettori and Paul Wiseman into the match. Indeed, the 'spin twins' took all 10 wickets that New Zealand secured in the match. Unfortunately, Australia amassed 8-575 in the first innings and 2-139 in the second. Vettori's match figures of 6-187 (5-152 in the first innings) were excellent in the context of the match, though Wiseman (4-192) just kept his head above water.
As for the pacemen, Chris Martin, James Franklin and Jacob Oram all toiled fruitlessly under the South Australian sun.
The current crop of quicks, still spearheaded by the ageless Martin, will take great heart from their collective efforts here at the Gabba.
In helpful, though not outrageous conditions, and backed up by excellent catching, they have strangled one of the world's great top orders not once, but twice in the match.
Southee was excellent on day one. With the tour selectors opting for batting insurance with Elliott at No 7, Southee was the most likely man to miss out here but he was judged to have hit the gloves harder in Sydney than the struggling Mills, so youth triumphed over experience.
Martin was unlucky on day one and excellent on day two, while Iain O'Brien keeps doing the only thing he is asked to: bowl with maximum effort and discipline, no matter the time of the day or the condition of the ball.
With useful contributions from Elliott and Jesse Ryder, the best spinner in either squad has hardly been required, which is handy given the amount of bowling he will be asked to do in Adelaide.
It would have been easy for the team to have become deflated after the first innings collapse with the bat, as they have done often in the past, but the bowlers again picked up the slack.
"The way the guys came out and turned things around with the ball showed we have got something about us," said Daniel Flynn. The Bay of Plenty left-hander said to get players of the calibre of Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting out cheaply twice was an illustration of how well the attack had performed.
"The bowlers did a great job on day one and we [the batsmen] let them down."
They did a great job on day two as well. Yesterday was a little bit of a struggle, though they will rue two chances going down that could have ended Simon Katich's brilliant innings before he reached three figures. O'Brien dropped a sharp chance off his own bowling, while Jesse Ryder made a meal of a regulation bat-pad opportunity off Vettori. One of those chances held and New Zealand would have been chasing 250.By Dylan Cleaver Email Dylan