Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the opening test against the West Indies starting tomorrow with his injured thumb failing to heal in time for the first home test of the summer.
Otago's Aaron Redmond will take Williamson's place in the side to play his first test following a five year absence. Doug Bracewell has been named 12th man.
"He was pretty close," captain Brendon McCullum said of Williamson.
"It was a tough decision but in the end it was a touch too early for Kane. Aaron's been in such good form and with his ability to know these conditions we saw him as a better option in this test rather than force Kane back."
The decision confirms spin bowler Ish Sodhi will play his first test in New Zealand after making his debut against Bangladesh in October.
Williamson admitted yesterday his damaged left hand is not 100 per cent two days out from the test at Dunedin's University Oval.
Williamson fractured his left thumb fielding in an ODI in Bangladesh on October 29. The prognosis at the time was he would need six weeks to be ready to play cricket again. That meant the Dunedin test was always going to be touch and go, and so it has proved.
New Zealand side:
Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Peter Fulton, Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling. Doug Bracewell (12th man)