New Zealand have gone on the front foot ahead of the day-night test against England, naming their XI today ahead of their opponents.

It implies confidence rather than diffidence in the challenge that lies ahead and belief in the players.

Legspinning allrounder Todd Astle is in for his third test over the last six years, and will bat No 8. Wicketkeeper BJ Watling will bat No 6. They are the only changes from the last test team which beat the West Indies in Hamilton in December. They replace the injured Mitchell Santner and Tom Blundell respectively.

"In recent days there have been a number of occasions we've been able to get out and practice with the pink ball," captain Kane Williamson said. "Yesterday we were training in the evening. It is slightly unique, but an exciting opportunity and a great occasion."


New Zealand's first home pink ball test will be their second overall, and the ninth day-night test since the transtasman match which kicked off the concept in Adelaide late in 2015.

Williamson isn't about to get caught up in all the hype around the match and forget the threat the English pose.

"There is probably a danger of overcomplicating some fo the finer parts of the pink ball game.

"They have shown different characteristics within those (eight) tests and at different stages with different conditions of the ball. It's hard to look into too much but you do want to adapt and think on your feet."

Williamson is delighted senior batsman Ross Taylor will be in the dressing room tomorrow. He provides a reassuring presence.

He has passed fit for the test, now over the quad injury which has troubled him for the last fortnight, although battling a spot of illness.

"Ross has been playing beautifully well every time he's walked to the crease. Just the calmness, the confidence and its reflected in how much success he's had this year, but probably every other year as well. He's batting amazingly well, he's a great guy to have in the group and is excited with his body intact to play tomorrow."