Coach Gary Stead has defending the dumping of veteran paceman Tim Southee and New Zealand's selections throughout a morale-sapping tour of Australia.
Australia will resume at 283/3 on day two of the third test at the SCG, seeking to pile more misery on a depleted and demoralised opposition.
The Blackcaps overhauled their attack for the series finale, with Southee, Trent Boult (broken hand) and Mitchell Santner (illness) making way for fast bowler Matt Henry plus tweakers Will Somerville and Todd Astle.
It was the demotion of Southee, NZ's most experienced bowler on the tour, that shocked former skipper Brendon McCullum and other pundits.
It marked the first time since 2009 that the Blackcaps have fielded a test XI without at least one of Kane Williamson, Boult and Southee.
"The talking point would be around picking Matt Henry over Tim Southee," Stead said.
"We wanted a little more pace out there, which Matt Henry sort of offers over Tim.
"And being the workload that Tim has had - not just in the last two tests but if you put the last four together, it's somewhere around 200 overs in a short period of time - we just felt that what Matt offered would have given us a point of difference.
"He [Southee] was disappointed."
Stead admitted his team considered playing a sole spinner alongside Henry, Southee and Neil Wagner.
"But when we looked at the wicket, it looked like a wicket which had been used in the past," he said.
"Apparently it hasn't been. It was certainly very dry."
Questioned about New Zealand's selections throughout the tour, Stead noted "you can only select those guys in the squad".
"You guys will have opinions," he said.
"We make decisions on what is in front of us and what is the best decision to make at the time. We live and die by those decisions."