Expect convention to fly out the window in Zimbabwe this week when New Zealand name their first substitute player under the one-day game's new experimental laws.

The opportunity should arrive when New Zealand launch the Tri-Series with a game against the hosts at Bulawayo on Wednesday, before squaring off against India at the same ground on Friday.

While most teams have chosen all-rounders as substitutes and have often pulled off a specialist opening bowler after a 10-over stint, New Zealand coach John Bracewell has a different take on the issue.

He believes it would be to New Zealand's advantage to opt for a specialist batting substitute, on the basis that his all-rounders deserved to be playing a full-part anyway, and could cover for any bowling shortfalls.

"If we batted first and collapsed, we could consider pulling a bowler and introducing an extra batsman, safe in the knowledge that the all-rounders could still cover our obligations in the field," he said.

"It just doesn't make any sense for us to nominate any of our all-rounders as the sub because, to be frank, they're our best one-day players and we want them in the game as much as possible.

"So we're looking at the idea of crisis management; naming a batter to guard against the consequences of being put in on a green seamer."

Bracewell's comments suggest that all-rounders Scott Styris, Jacob Oram and Chris Cairns can expect to play a full part in the most important games of the series, leaving Craig McMillan and Lou Vincent to vie for the substitutes' position.

However, Bracewell seems likely to give most of his one-day specialists a run against Zimbabwe on Wednesday, if only to help them up to speed as quickly as possible before the crunch game against India on Friday.

That could translate into starts for Cairns, McMillan, Andre Adams and debutante Jeetan Patel, none of whom were involved in the test series.

Bracewell said apart from Nathan Astle, who dislocated the ring finger on his right hand on the last day of the second test, all squad members were fit and available for the start of the series.

"We'll just have to wait and see with Nath.

"He might have to miss the Wednesday game so we can have him right for the next one."