Several leading commentators have piled on the Black Caps' misery after they were forced into a slew of changes for the third test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner were all ruled out due to illness, while Tim Southee has joined injured seam-bowling partner Trent Boult on the sideline as well.
A Black Caps spokeperson said Southee wasn't injured, but was left out with the "decision made around his recent workload".
"It's been a tough 48 hours for us," stand-in skipper Tom Latham said at the toss. "We've had a virus which has gone through the team which is unfortunate.
"Kane and Henry are down and Mitch is down. They gave their best this morning to be right but obviously they're not right.
"It's a huge honour to captain New Zealand and I'm really looking forward to it. We've got five changes."
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Auckland batsman Glenn Phillips made his debut for the visitors after being flown in on Thursday night.
"This is the most patchwork preparation to a game of test cricket New Zealand has ever had to do," Kiwi commentator Ian Smith said.
"This NZ team is like a M*A*S*H unit, I'm expecting Tom Latham to name Hawkeye Pierce and Hotlips Houlihan in the XI today."
With Southee left out, New Zealand has lost a staggering 11,108 test runs and 594 test wickets from their line-up.
Kiwi legend Brendon McCullum was shocked to see Southee rested because of his high recent workload because of all the senior figures already missing from the Kiwi team.
"Wow. It's massive," McCullum told SEN Radio.
"I guess dreams are made of situations like this.
"I'm a little surprised with Matt Henry in for Tim Southee because they are short of leadership."
It is also the first time since 2009 that New Zealand will play a test without Boult, Southee or Williamson in the side.
Fox Cricket commentator Gerard Whateley told SEN Radio the dramatic changes suggest New Zealand is "falling apart".
Australia won the toss and decided to bat first.