It's a conundrum all visiting teams to the Basin Reserve have to face: finding volunteers to bowl into the hefty winds which inevitably form a backdrop to tests at New Zealand's most successful ground.

Bails blowing off are a frequent sight. Buffeting northerly and southerly winds - sometimes both within two days - are a feature of Wellington tests.

Visiting captains need to acquaint themselves with what nature brings and find smart ways to work with it.

"It's a tough job, especially from a seamers' perspective," South African captain Faf du Plessis said today ahead of the start of the second test tomorrow.

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New Zealand's senior seamer Tim Southee admitted that the Basin Reserve can be a challenging place to bowl, in certain conditions.

"We've all played here a reasonable amount to know what to expect," he said, speaking of the New Zealand bowlers.

"Hopefully the wind isn't as strong as he has been in the past. You can't beat the Basin on a fine day.

"But it's just something you've got to deal with. The wind is going to be up at some stage."

Asked who he thought was the most suitable bowler to run up into the strong winds which are expected on at least the first two days - from both directions, up and down the pitch - du Plessis quipped: "Spinners".

But he's confident he has the horsepower to get through what can be a physically demanding role. Gusty winds can bump seamers out of their stride.

"We've got guys who are prepared to put in the work," du Plessis said. "KG (Kagiso Rabada), I certainly feel I can use him. He's a guy who's not scared of a challenge.

"Someone like Vernon Philander doesn't necessarily have to bowl quick all the time. He can bowl into the wind and gives you that control.

"And Morne Morkel has done the donkey work for years for South Africa. All three will be prepared to do the hard work."

Ask Philander and Morkel how they remembered South Africa's last test at the Basin, five years ago.

They'll probably enjoy being back, after all Philander took six for 81 in New Zealand's first innings; Morkel trumped that with an outstanding six for 23 off 16.4 overs in the second to push South Africa close to victory.

"That'll be big for them," du Plessis. "The experience Morne's had is vital to the team. The confidence from that is definitely a big thing for us but I'm not sure if conditions will be the same as five years ago."