THE Black Caps have decided to find comfort in an intriguing sense of sameness for the fifth straight ICC World Cup game in Napier tomorrow.
Captain Brendon McCullum put the New Zealand faithful - and inquisitive playoff contenders - out of their misery before a media scrum at the McLean Park early this afternoon.
"We've settled on this as our No 1 [team] but I'm confident if injuries do come about we've got the experience and personnel on the sideline that can step up and perform a role," McCullum said.
It seems the XI who saw the Kiwis sneak home by a wicket over fellow co-hosts Australia has become the template for massaging through to the business end of the premier one-day international tournament.
Chasing their maiden cup glory, New Zealand are content with giving their "sub fielders" Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum and Tom Latham a rain check.
"If we look at the campaign as not just in isolation of the World Cup but also the games leading into it, over the course of 13 games we've been able to get a fair bit of game time into a lot of guys," Brendon McCullum said.
With the luxury of several days between cup matches the Black Caps have been able to rest and remain in the module, as it were, than employ the rest-and-rotate policy to avoid injuries and mental lethargy.
"The nature of the games we've had so far haven't been overly taxing in terms of the physical demands on our bowlers.
"It still gives them a good chance to get into their work and we think this is the best 11 for us ..."
The fear of not changing has its share of followers who contend variety is not just an insurance cover but also a cure for any ailments that may crop up unexpectedly.
The argument that physical intensity can be maintained in the nets and via fielding drills for the bench boys is plausible but what about the mental one?
The flip side is if it's good enough for the bench boys then it must be acceptable for the starting XI to break the rhythm of five consecutive matches and still be able to stave off mental inertia.
For that scenario McCullum offered: "You have your best-laid plans and we've prepared weeks and months in advance but you've also got to have the fluidity within the group to make those changes as required.
"By us naming the team again now it shows we are confident in the group of guys we've got."
That must mean only one thing - the attention has to turn within the collective to isolate individuals who do need exposure in the ongoing tweaking process of finding the finest XI on the globe when the dust settles in Melbourne later this month.
It begs the question: "Will the batting go down to at least No 8 tomorrow?"
Interestingly enough it did for India overnight in their four-wicket victory over the West Indies at the Waca, Perth.
The openers came and went. Lynchpin Virat Kohli made a cameo appearance for 30-odd runs but the buck stopped with No 6 MS Dhoni (45 not out) and No 8 Ravichandran Ashwin ( 16no), seeing them through, albeit in pursuit of a below-par total.
That just means the specialist batsmen aren't peaking too soon and there's confidence in the team to place faith in their middle-lower order.
The exact scenario may not seem so appetising to Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill but suffice it to say another firecracker start will be akin to Kiwi boxer Joe Parker barely working up a sweat in his fourth-round TKO over some puppy called Jason Pettaway.
That pup in the cricketing world tomorrow is Afghanistan.
Just as there are "minnows" in sport not "associate nations", when you cut to the chase tomorrow's match will be about test tubes on Bunsen burners and lab rats.
With three players bowling up to 140kmh, he expected the Kiwi batsmen to be pushed.
In the bowling department, Central Districts Stags speed merchant Adam Milne is expected to roll up his sleeves to accrue much-needed overs.
Milne is undercooked, something McCullum concurred today.
"They [bowlers] can be ready from a mental point of view. That's the beauty of the squad we've picked is there's guys on the sideline with experience. Guys who given any situation who haven't played a game for two months but they find themselves in a must-win game."
He felt leftie seamer McClenaghan was capable of coming into the matrix regardless of whether "he's playing three games in a week or once every three months".
Ditto "level-headed" top-order batsman Latham "who is so adaptable about his cricket".
Whether veteran spinner Daniel Vettori will be injected earlier in an attacking capacity or allowed to adhere to the predictable ritual of containment remains to be seen.
It's unlikely that Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott's all-round resume will be called on.
For what it's worth, a shuffling of cards against Bangladesh on Friday in Hamilton is out of the question. Hesson and Co will be calling the bluff unless, of course, someone breaks down or picks up a virus.
New Zealand XI: Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Dan Vettori, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
Coach: Mike Hesson.