England unchanged for second Test v NZ in Wellington

England will take an unchanged team into their Test series decider against New Zealand, with one look at the grassy Basin Reserve pitch enough to relieve their bowling attack of any aches and pains.

Switching up the seamers was a possibility after last week's 267-run win in Mount Maunganui, with Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson suffering soreness after their exertions at Bay Oval.

Durham's Matthew Potts and Nottinghamshire's Olly Stone were on hand to come in if required but, after assessing a lush green surface on Wednesday, the men in possession were not even contemplating a rest in Wellington.

"It was just a case of seeing how the bowlers pulled up and they've pulled up pretty well, especially after seeing the pitch," England captain Ben Stokes said.

"There's a lot of grass out there, it looks like the lines for the wicket have been painted on the outfield. The bowlers were licking their lips. They might have been stiff yesterday, but after they looked at the pitch felt a little bit looser."

The enthusiasm of the English pace attack to try their luck in appealing conditions does not guarantee a clatter of cheap wickets, of course, with the venue renowned for looking livelier than it plays at times.

And nobody knows how well the ground can play better than England's head coach Brendon McCullum, who made a career-best 302 against India here in 2014.

"You can't read too much into that, pitches here can offer a lot for the seamers but we've also heard from Baz that it can sometimes play into the favour of the batters," Stokes said.

Anderson will lead the England attack having returned to top spot in the International Cricket Council's bowling rankings at the age of 40, the oldest player to hit No.1 since Clarrie Grimmett in 1936.

The Lancastrian's seven-wicket haul in the first Test saw him replace Australia captain Pat Cummins after a four-year stint at the summit, yet another distinction for a player with more dismissals than any other pace bowler in the history of the game.

Asked if it would be enough to raise a smile from a man who wilfully leans into his reputation for grumpiness, Stokes said: "No, I don't think he'll be that fussed by it to be honest, he'll just keeping doing his thing."

Black Caps skipper Tim Southee, another long-serving seamer with 15 years of Test experience under his belt, paid tribute to his opponent.

"He's phenomenal, he has been for a long time. To see a 40-year-old sitting at the top of the charts is pretty amazing," he said.

"The toll it takes on his body and the way he's able to keep going and keep performing, he's great for the game."

ENGLAND: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (capt), Ben Foakes, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.