Blackcaps captain Tom Latham has no regrets over the omission of spinner Ajaz Patel from his side for the first test of the summer against Bangladesh, after New Zealand crashed to a history-making defeat at Mt Maunganui.
Despite becoming just the third player in the history of cricket to take all 10 wickets in an innings in New Zealand's last test match - against India in Mumbai - Patel wasn't needed for the two-test series against Bangladesh, and wasn't selected in the 13-strong squad.
Coach Gary Stead made it clear that Patel's selection would see New Zealand divert from the four-pronged pace attack that saw the Blackcaps win the World Test Championship in 2021 - but the nature of the loss at Bay Oval will undoubtedly lead to questions about the make-up of the side.
Instead, the quartet of seamers Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson made up New Zealand's attack at Bay Oval, joined by all-rounder Rachin Ravindra as a spin option.
However, the match scorecard from the defeat would indicate that the Blackcaps made the correct decision, with just six of the 32 wickets to fall across the test match being taken by spin.
Speaking post-match, stand-in skipper Latham couldn't answer whether or not a mistake had been made in not selecting Patel, but backed the XI players that were picked to have gotten the job done.
"It's hard to say," Latham says of Patel.
"Whatever side we have, we have 100 percent backing of the personnel in the group. I thought Rachin did a great job for us toiling into the wind from that end.
"The surface didn't necessarily spin a whole lot, but I guess that's the conversations [to have] in the future when we play here, is what does that look like?
"But as I said, the most important thing is we have 100 percent backing of whoever we select in the XI."
Latham also denied any notion that the Blackcaps had taken Bangladesh lightly, as the visitors secured their maiden victory against New Zealand at home in any format of the game.
The loss also ended New Zealand's unbeaten home record dating back to 2017, and has meant the end of a run of eight consecutive home test series wins, since they're now only able to salvage a draw come the second test in Christchurch later this week.
"We prepared exactly how we usually do for any test match - whether it's at home, whether it's away, no matter the opposition," Latham said.
"Our preparation we did exactly what we usually do, and I certainly don't think it was a lack of effort.
"We certainly weren't where we expect to be, and where we've been in the past."
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