Blackcaps 'fizzing' ahead of day-night Test against England

Two night sessions at Mount Maunganui have set the Blackcaps up perfectly to face England in New Zealand's first day-night Test match at home.

Thursday will be an historic day in New Zealand's cricket history when the rivals open their two-match series at Eden Park with ticket pre-sales suggesting the largest long-format crowd in four decades.

England had four solid days of preparation under lights in Hamilton against a New Zealand XI side that featured a smattering of Test players, including Jeet Raval and Tom Latham.

Returning Blackcap BJ Watling didn't take part in that match, but spent two days at the Mount with Test players not involved in Hamilton.

The wicket-keeper, who hasn't played for New Zealand in 12 months due to a hip injury, believes the short training camp has the team in a good place.

"We had a good couple days in the Mount under lights with the pink ball, so got plenty of loading in," Watling told media on Monday.

The 32-year-old has previous Test experience with the pink ball, having played in the first-ever day-night Test against Australia in Adelaide in 2015.

On that occasion, paceman Trent Boult had the Australian batsman in fits on the final evening of play, almost bowling New Zealand to victory with figures of 5/60.

Watling said Boult was again in great form during the training camp and expected him to play a big role in Auckland, but he wouldn't confirm if the side would look at any tactical declarations in order to bowl under lights.

"That situation may pop up, but it may not," he said. "It's about being adaptable on the day and seeing where the game is going.

"You can't premeditate where the game is going to go, but you can have those ideas is a good place to start.

"It might be a bit different at Eden Park, with the drop-in wicket and no wickets on the surrounding block. It should still swing, but it will flatten out in periods and be good to bat.

"It will be best of both worlds for both teams, I think.

Test cricket has struggled for crowds in New Zealand over recent years, but with up to 20,000 predicted to attend the opening day, Watling said the atmosphere would be unique and he was excited for the occasion.

"First pink-ball Test here and it sounds like there will be a pretty big crowd. It's always good to play Test cricket with a lot of people there to watch, so the boys are pretty fizzed and raring to go."

First ball is set for 2pm on Thursday.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: