New Zealand received a boost when captain Daniel Vettori declared he would lead the side in the first Test against England at Lord's, starting on Thursday, despite a recent injury to his spinning finger.
Vettori, 29, missed New Zealand's final warm-up match, against England Lions last week, because of the injury and while he would have liked more overs under his belt, he was confident his fitness would hold up for the duration of a five-day Test after bowling in the nets.
"I feel fitness wise I have no problems getting through a Test match," said Vettori, far and away the most experienced player in the current New Zealand side after playing in 80 Tests, told Sky Sports here Wednesday.
"I'm not too concerned about it but I would have liked to have played in the last game," Vettori, who had to have stitches inserted into his finger, added.
The match at Lord's is the first of a three-Test series.
Back in March, England came from behind to beat then hosts New Zealand, again captained by Vettori, 2-1 in another three-Test series.
One of the world's leading finger spinners, Vettori, who aged 18 became the youngest man to play for New Zealand, has taken 245 Test wickets at an average of 34.80.
Vettori is also an effective lower-order batsman with two Test hundreds and 16 fifties, despite often batting no higher than No 8, to his credit.