Kane Williamson, preparing to captain his country in a test at home for the first time, wants his players to put the Indian experience out of their minds.

New Zealand were well beaten 3-0 by India recently and have now been walloped in four successive tests, including one at Centurion against South Africa.

But Williamson wants his players to express themselves in the two-test series against Pakistan, starting tomorrow.

"When we do that, we play our best cricket and that will be the challenge for us," Williamson said.

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"Coming off the back of losses is never nice. It can be in the back of the mind a little bit and the challenge is getting back on track with what you want to achieve."

He hadn't thought about his first home test as skipper.

"But it's about us as a group, sticking together after some tough series and applying what works for us, and being really positive."

Williamson had a word of praise for new test opener Jeet Raval, who will be making his debut tomorrow.

"Whenever you make your debut, there are some unknowns. But we've chatted. He's a great fellow, has been in the squad but certainly it's about not changing too much."

New Zealand won't settle on their final XI until they see the pitch tomorrow morning - it's very green today.

The two sticking points are which one of the four seamers - Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner or Matt Henry - drops out, and which allrounder - Jimmy Neesham or Colin de Grandhomme - is omitted. De Grandhomme would join Raval on debut if he makes the final cut.

Pakistan zoomed to No 1 in test rankings with their 2-2 draw against England in mid-year, then dropped a place when arch-rivals India climbed above them after beating New Zealand at home.

Still, veteran captain Misbah-ul-Haq is optimistic his side will be formidable opponents for a New Zealand side searching for success to kick start a busy home summer.

"It's new conditions and that's the biggest challenge for us," Misbah, 42, said today. "Most of our players have been here before and know the conditions are different from what we are used to, so we need to make sure we bat with discipline, put good scores on the board. Then our bowling is very capable of performing well in any conditions."

Misbah made it plain Pakistan have already settled on their XI for the test.

"We don't have any question marks. We are clear on what we are going to do with our XI."