Captain Brendon McCullum was left to lament the absence of fast bowler Tim Southee, ahead of New Zealand's tour of South Africa.
Excluded from the squad for the three-match Twenty20 International series due to paternity leave, Southee has also been ruled out of consideration for the two Tests and three ODIs after sustaining a hand injury.
"It's a big loss, Tim's been our number one bowler in Test cricket for the last sort of a while and also in one-day cricket as well. Heis a real leader of the attack, so it's going to be a huge loss," said McCullum.
The right-armer will be sidelined for two months after rupturing ligaments in his right thumb during a domestic match this week. Fellow seamers Adam Milne and Mark Gillespie are nursing injuries too.
"Obviously our thoughts are with him because I know he had a keen eye on this series to test himself out against some of the world's best bowlers in Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn," added McCullum.