The messages out of the BLACKCAPS camp are about setting the tone early for the series by showing the right attitude and application from ball one.
Speaking on the eve of the first Test against the West Indies at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, veteran fast bowler Chris Martin said the team are determined to start positively in what shapes up as an evenly matched contest.
“It’s just matter of us getting our game plans together and playing as a team and attacking pretty hard in that first day.
“I think the opportunity here for us on a pitch that looks like it is going to have a result in it is massive.
“As far as line-up’s go they’re pretty similar. If you look at the numbers across the board it’s going to be a very competitive Test series.
“For us it’s going to be a lot more about our attitudes and playing together as a team to combat these guys in their home conditions.
“They’re quite a confident outfit at the moment. How we start in that first hour against them is going to define the series in a lot of ways.”
Martin admitted that the team didn’t play to their full potential in the warm-up match but said it served its purpose through providing some valuable lessons and giving players the opportunity to acclimatise.
“I think with any first game of the summer you feel like it’s an explosion on your body and you feel a little bit of pain and suffering.
“It’s hot and quite baron looking but I think the warm-up game showed us that if we’re in the right areas for long enough the up-and-down nature of the pitch is probably going to get results.
The wicket used for the warm-up match was two strips away from the one being prepared for the Test match and some similarities are expected.
“It’s very similar to what you would consider sub-continent conditions,” said Martin. “You tend to get short-sharp spells so you’re not too buggered for later on in the game.
“If you make a guy go out of his game plan by being disciplined and hardworking I think you’ve got a chance with the variable nature of the pitch.
“If a guy decides to camp and bat for as long as he can it’s obviously a little bit more difficult for the pace bowlers to remove them.
“As the game goes on the variable nature of the pitch is probably going to create a little bit of havoc so it’s probably a good toss to win.”
BJ Watling and Trent Boult are both carrying quad strains and weren't available for selection.
BLACKCAPS (from): Ross Taylor (c), Daniel Flynn, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Vettori, Kruger van Wyk, Doug Bracewell, Neil Wagner, Chris Martin, Tarun Nethula, Tim Southee.
West Indies (from): Darren Sammy (c), Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Kieron Powell, Assad Fudadin, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin, Tino Best, Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine