The manner of Kane Williamson’s dismissal and a blow to the head of Henry Nicholls put the maiden Test wicket at Mount Maunganui under scrutiny with three days to play in the first Test between New Zealand and England on Friday.
In the first Test at the ground, the Bay Oval wicket showed signs of becoming unpredictable late on day two.
Although honours appeared even after the first two days, England believe if the wicket continues to deteriorate then they are in the box seat.
New Zealand go into day three on Saturday at 144 for four in reply to England’s first innings 353, but with senior batsmen Williamson and Ross Taylor already dismissed.
Williamson had cruised to 51, reaching his half-century with a boundary off Sam Curran, but fell on the next delivery which unexpectedly reared sharply, forcing the New Zealand skipper to take evasive action and the ball was gloved to second slip.
The dismissal even took Curran by surprise, but he saw it as a good omen.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ENGLAND: First innings 353 all out (Burns 52, Denly 74, Stokes 91, Pope 29, Buttler 43; Southee 4-88, De Grandhomme 2-41, Wagner 3-90)
NEW ZEALAND: First innings 144 for 4 (Williamson 51, Taylor 25, Nicholls 26 not out; Curran 2-28)