New Zealand are considering turning to teenage newcomer Tim Southee in a bid to secure their first home Test series win against England for 24 years, coach John Bracewell said Tuesday.
Fast bowler Southee, 19, would be the first teenager to debut for New Zealand since skipper Daniel Vettori started his Test career in 1997 at the age of 18.
Bracewell said Southee's ability to swing the ball could make the difference as New Zealand attempt to hit back after their 126-run loss to England in the second Test in Wellington.
"The defining factor may be swing bowling and I think at the moment England have the edge on us," Bracewell said.
"All of their bowlers swing it apart from (Steve) Harmison, and swing it reasonably late."
English bowlers James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom in particular showed the value of quality swing bowling in Wellington, taking 13 wickets between them.
"We really have only got Kyle Mills that swings the ball on a consistent basis," Bracewell said.
"Having that extra option (Southee) of genuine swing may put the balance back on an even keel. It's a handy option to have."
Southee was Player of the Tournament at the under-19 World Cup in Malaysia last month, taking 17 wickets at an average of 6.64.
He was added to the squad after Mills complained of soreness in his left knee after the second Test but Bracewell has suggested Southee could be in contention even if Mills does recover.
The third Test starting on Saturday will be played in Napier and expectations are for a docile batting pitch.
Another option for New Zealand is to bring back Jeetan Patel, who formed an effective twin-spin combination with Vettori in the home side's 189-run first Test victory over England in Hamilton.