Team selection for New Zealand's final, series-deciding test against South Africa at Seddon Park is a couple of days away.

Deliberations over what the best bowling attack should be long and detailed.

Respective merits of spin vs seam will be carefully weighed; on top of that, what would be the best balance between the two skill sets in the conditions.

When New Zealand beat Pakistan in a thrilling final day, final session charge at Seddon Park in November, 18 of the 20 wickets were taken by the seamers - Tim Southee took eight; Neil Wagner took three, while Colin de Grandhomme and Matt Henry shared three.


Over the six home tests this summer, fast-medium bowlers have taken 95 of the 105 wickets captured by bowlers.

Pakistan were bowled out in all four innings of their series, twice under 180, twice under 240. Bangladesh were dismissed three times out of four, two of them under 180.

New Zealand won all four of those tests with the seamers bossing the opposition.

Southee, in five tests, has taken 29 wickets at 22.8 each; Boult, in four, has 22 wickets at 22.5. Wagner has taken 28 wickets at 25.14. They are top-class test figures.

Seamer Colin de Grandhomme, who began the summer with a stunning six for 41 against Pakistan on debut, has taken 13 wickets, Jimmy Neesham two, Henry one.

Southee was controversially left out of the first South African test in Dunedin. Boult has missed two of the six home tests through injury. Wagner has been ever-present.

So perhaps the selection for Hamilton should be guided less by what the Seddon Park pitch will do and more by ensuring the best bowlers are on the park.

The test is expected to be played on the slower, more conservative side of the block, on a pitch of Waikari clay, as opposed to the pacier Patamahoe side of the block.

The breakdown of New Zealand's bowling success hasn't been lost on South Africa's late arrival, offspinner Dane Piedt, who has been surprised by the selection policy.

"I think they have shot themselves in the foot," Piedt said. "They didn't back their seamers to do the job, and I thought their seamers bowled pretty well in South Africa [late last year].

"They bowled us out for 263 in Durban on quite a sporting deck. I didn't expect that New Zealand would play two spinners in the first test, and when they left Tim Southee out I was also surprised."

Piedt raised the idea that New Zealand have been wary of South Africa's fast-medium prowess.

Spinners, Mitchell Santner and Jeetan Patel have had relatively little impact, sharing 10 wickets.

New Zealand's fast-medium prowess was also lauded by Australia's David Warner before Christmas.

After New Zealand had opted, against all the evidence, to send Australia in at Canberra in their Chappell-Hadlee clash, and get thumped for 378 for five. Warner said he had not been surprised by the toss decision.

"Their best attribute is probably swinging the ball with the new rock," Warner said.

Sure, different format, different country, but the point was the same.

In any case, all the conjecture may be moot. The forecast for the Hamilton test is grim - solid rain each day.