England's Jofra Archer says it has been a challenge adjusting to the Kookaburra ball ahead of Thursday's first test against New Zealand but hopes a bit of pace off the surface at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui will help level the playing field.
Archer made his test debut in the Ashes series against Australia earlier this year, taking 22 wickets in four matches, and is England's main strike bowler in New Zealand in the absence of the injured James Anderson.
The two-test series is Archer's first overseas tour and his chief concern is the Australian-made ball, which has a far less pronounced seam than he is used to.
"I'd never bowled with the red Kookaburra before, but I knew it was going to be tough and so it proved," he wrote in a column for the Daily Mail.
"People say it has a smaller seam than the Dukes ball we use in England but I'm not sure it has a seam at all. It isn't pronounced on any part of the ball. It doesn't hold its shine either and gets very old, very fast."