Blackcaps selectors may have given the biggest hint yet on their preferred opening-batting combination for the upcoming tour of England, with Devon Conway named to bat alongside first-choice Tom Latham in this week's intrasquad hitout.
Currently in Southampton, the Blackcaps will begin their warm-up match on Thursday, with a Kane Williamson-led XI taking on a Latham XI.
The squad has effectively been split in two, with three Hampshire local players making up the numbers.
Conway's pairing with Latham at the top of the order may indicate where the Blackcaps selectors' minds are, heading into next week's first test against England at Lord's.
Incumbent opener Tom Blundell has been listed to bat at No.3 for the Latham XI and will also don the wicketkeeping gloves.
Meanwhile, Will Young - Conway and Blundell's main competition in the race to partner Latham - will open the batting for the Williamson XI, alongside 21-year-old debutant Rachin Ravindra.
Young is fresh from a successful stint in county cricket with Durham, where he scored centuries in consecutive matches at the top of the order.
The Blackcaps' intrasquad warm-up match begins on Thursday night and will finish on Saturday morning (NZ time).
Latham XI: Tom Latham (c), Devon Conway, Tom Blundell (wk), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel, John Turner (Hampshire), George Harding (Hampshire)
Williamson XI: Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (c), Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Jacob Duffy, Ajeet Dale (Hampshire).
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