Don't get caught up in the novelty, remember what the next five days are about; sounds simple but that will be part of Kane Williamson's message to his players ahead of the historic pink-ball test at Eden Park starting today.

New Zealand get a first taste of day-night test cricket at home against an England team who will be playing their third day-night test in their last nine matches. That makes it positively ho-hum for them by comparison with their hosts, whose one previous experience was in Adelaide two-and-a-half years ago.

And for all the intriguing elements to the test — what to do at the toss, trying to work the night session to your advantage, expecting an outright result, based on pink ball history — Williamson said it was important not to lose sight of what test cricket is essentially about.

"There probably is a danger of over-complicating some of the finer parts of the pink ball game," he said. "They have shown different characteristics within those [eight previous day-night] 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."


There is yet to be a draw in pink ball tests but Williamson, level with Ross Taylor and Martin Crowe on a New Zealand record 17 test centuries, said it was important not to rush headlong into the match expecting a rapid finish.

"You don't want to get ahead of yourself and how you want to operate. You can be confronted with different challenges, and that's test cricket, whether with a pink or red ball. We have to be prepared to play the long game, not rely on what we think may or may not happen. Stick to our plans and strengths."

Williamson said amid a welter of statistical bumph swirling about is one suggestion as many wickets fall in the first, afternoon, session of day-night tests on average than when the lights are at full strength in the third period.

Just how important Taylor is to the New Zealand operation came in two forms yesterday — Williamson's words, plus trying to visualise a batting group without the seasoned kingpin striding out at No 4.

Williamson is delighted Taylor will be in the dressing room today, now over his quad injury and battling only a bit of illness. He provides a reassuring presence.

"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. He's batting amazingly well, and he's a great guy to have in the group."

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

England (possible): Joe Root, Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson.

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