Captain Kane Williamson will have to pass a fitness test on a strained hamstring if he is to lead the Black Caps against England at Bay Oval today.

Tauranga local Williamson tweaked his hamstring on a sluggish surface fielding at Seddon Park on Sunday and if not able to play will be replaced by Auckland's Mark Chapman.

Williamson has already led New Zealand against the Windies and Pakistan at Bay Oval this summer but the second ODI in the series against a full-strength England side is the biggest occasion at the top-class oval so far.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson says whether Williamson plays will be decided as late as possible.


"It is a day by day thing. He is going to have to prove his fitness, and if he does, he will definitely play. This is a different [injury]. He has had a few little niggles over the last few months. This is just a mild hamstring strain, but he has to make sure he is 100 per cent ready to go," Hesson said.

"The ground the other day was quite soft. The guys found it relatively heavy on the legs. Look, we are hopeful he will be fine but we are really not sure."

The Black Caps are 1-0 in the five-match series but will be decidedly weaker if their best batsman and leader does not make the starting 11.

"It would be a big blow. Kane is obviously a world-class player and a quality leader as well but we have confidence in our squad as well. There will be some minor adjustments there but throughout the year even when Kane has not been able to play we have been able to put in a performance so that won't be an excuse," Hessen said.

Meanwhile, England have enjoyed their time at Mount Maunganui ahead of the game at a venue allrounder Chris Woakes says reminds him of so many picturesque grounds in England.

"As international cricketers, you do get to play in a lot of stadiums around the world so to come here and play at a traditional cricket ground with grass banks is nice. It kind of takes you back to your childhood when you played cricket purely for the fun of it and you played at your local cricket club," Woakes said.

"It does remind you of that even though it is a very, very nice ground and a very professional ground. It gives a good atmosphere when it gets full."

The way England lost in Hamilton has been front of mind for England since Sunday.


"The conditions did change a bit towards the back end of that game. The dew came down and it skidded on a bit which made it easier for batting. We would have liked to have bowled a little bit better in those final overs but that is the way it goes sometimes," Woakes said.

"One-day international cricket can get tight and go either way. New Zealand chased down the score really well, so hopefully we can get that right here."

Black Caps v England, today, Bay Oval, 2pm start
Gates open 12.30pm.