David Warner sounded more ground expert than champion Australian opener at the Basin Reserve yesterday.

The stocky left-hander, having surveyed the greenish pitch for the first test starting tomorrow, said that swing, not seam, could be the biggest threat to Australia's batsmen.

"The ball will swing for a lot longer than what it does in Australia. Looking at the wicket here it looks nice and green, but that's irrelevant," Warner said.

"I don't think the ball will do much off the wicket. It will swing around a lot, and obviously with two world-class swing bowlers in the attack [Tim Southee and Trent Boult] it's going to be a challenge for us guys at the top of the order."

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Tough questions have been asked about Australia's quality against good swing bowling, notably in England last year, where they were rolled for just 60 in 18.3 overs at Trent Bridge.

Warner, who plays his 50th test tomorrow, isn't about to change his game plan but hopes lessons have been learned.

"If the ball's in my area I'm still going to play the same way. We just have to adapt to whatever we face on game day."

Warner quipped that Australia's batsmen "want to be bowlers, looking at that wicket".

"The one thing the bowlers can't do is get carried away, seeing what it is. You've got to hit your right areas and lengths. Length is the big key when you see a wicket like this."