Rising fast bowler Kyle Jamieson may get his first chance to impress for the Blackcaps against India.
Jamieson has been withdrawn from the New Zealand 'A' side to play India 'A' in Christchurch, with NZ selector Gavin Larsen confirming the Auckland Aces stand-out would be injury cover for the upcoming one-day series.
Blackcaps pace bowling stocks are thin, with Lockie Ferguson (right calf), Trent Boult (left hand) and Matt Henry (left thumb) working their way back from injuries sustained during the test series in Australia.
"Kyle would have been selected for these four-day matches," Larsen said. "But with the current injury concerns amongst our fast bowlers, we feel it's better he stays focused on white-ball cricket.
"He's just finished three very competitive one-day games against India 'A', including an impressive 4/49 in the final game, and will play in the Ford Trophy this week to be primed for the ODI series, if required."
The 24-year-old was flown to Australia as injury cover, but wasn't selected for either of the final two tests.
"Kyle impressed the coaching staff in his time with the test squad for the Melbourne and Sydney tests, and will feel comfortable in the environment, if included."
The New Zealand 'A' side will feature batsman Will Young, who continues his comeback from shoulder surgery, as well as Hamish Rutherford, who's coming off a century for the Otago Volts in the Ford Trophy one-day domestic competition.
But the side will be without spinner Todd Astle, who's made himself unavailable for selection, after deciding to step aside from long-form cricket to focus on the limited-overs formats.
The time commitment has become too much for the 33-year-old, who'll spend his extra hours on his family and his new business venture 'Innerspin', which aims to help young sports people develop their mental skills.
"Playing test cricket was always the dream, and I’m so honoured to have represented my country and province in the longest form of the game," Astle said.
"Red-ball cricket is the pinnacle, but also requires a huge amount of time and effort. As I’ve got to the back end of my career, I’ve found it harder to maintain the level of commitment required to be fully invested in this version of the game."
Astle finishes as the top first-class wicket-taker for Canterbury with 303 wickets and has five tests to his name, since debuting against Sri Lanka in 2012.
The first match of the two-game NZ 'A' series begins on January 30 at Hagley Oval.
The second match - starting on February 7 at Bert Sutcliffe Oval - will feature four changes to the squad, with Daryl Mitchell, Tim Seifert (playing as a batsman), Ish Sodhi and one more pace-bowler to be added after the Twenty20 series against India.
They’ll replace Mark Chapman, Ajaz Patel, Edward Nuttall and Sean Solia.
NZ 'A' squad: Hamish Rutherford (Otago Volts) (c), Mark Chapman (Auckland Aces), Dane Cleaver (Central Stags) (wk), Jacob Duffy (Otago Volts), Cole McConchie (Canterbury), Edward Nuttall (Canterbury), Ajaz Patel (Central Stags), Glenn Phillips (Auckland Aces), Michael Rae (Otago Volts), Rachin Ravindra (Wellington Firebirds), Sean Solia (Auckland Aces), Will Young (Central Stags).
Join us at 8pm Wednesday for live updates of the third Blackcaps v India T20 match