London: Rain delayed the scheduled 11:00am local time (1000GMT) start of the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord's here Thursday.
England had, on Wednesday, taken the unusual step of naming their side a day before the game and chose to stick with the same team that won the third Test against New Zealand in Napier in March by 121 runs and so completed a come-from-behind 2-1 series victory.
All-rounder Paul Collingwood kept his place, despite a recent recurrence of his right shoulder injury, which last week required a cortisone injection.
However, England captain Michael Vaughan was due to drop down from opening the innings to No 3 in a straight swop with Andrew Strauss having finished the series in New Zealand with low average of just over 20.
Although Andrew Flintoff had recovered from the left ankle injury that had kept him out of Test cricket for over a year, a side strain meant the all-rounder was ruled out of the first two matches of this three-Test series.
New Zealand, in their first Test match without retired former captain Stephen Fleming, had yet to finalise their side and did not have to do so until the toss.
However, they had announced a 12-man squad. The Black Caps were expected to hand Test debuts to opener Aaron Redmond, the son of former New Zealand batsman Rodney, and middle-order batsman Daniel Flynn with the final place in their line-up likely to be between pace bowlers Tim Southee and Iain O'Brien.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori declared himself fit to play on Wednesday following an injury to his spinning finger which forced him to miss his side's final two warm-up games.
Southee enjoyed a memorable Test debut in Napier, the 19-year-old taking five for 55 in the first innings and scoring an unbeaten 77, batting at No 10, as he delayed England's march to victory in the fourth innings.
England: Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan (capt), Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Tim Ambrose (wkt), Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson and Monty Panesar.
New Zealand: Aaron Redmond, Jamie How, James Marshall, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (wkt), Daniel Flynn, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori (capt), Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Chris Martin and Iain O'Brien.
Umpires: Simon Taufel (Aus) and Steve Bucknor (WI). Third umpire: Nigel Llong (Eng). Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SL).