Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori could make a surprise return to the test arena as coach Mike Hesson considers taking three spinners into the deciding clash with Pakistan in Sharjah which starts on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old Vettori, who was in the United Arab Emirates with the New Zealand `A` side for one-day matches, trained with the test squad in Sharjah on Monday, but has not played a test since July 2012 as he has battled lingering injuries.
"We played a (practice) game here in Sharjah, saw the wicket we`re likely to play on and, with Dan being over here, the possibility of playing three spinners is one we couldn`t give up," Hesson told the New Zealand Herald.
"We haven`t named our side but his experience and knowledge in these conditions, combined with the fact he`s fit and strong again, will help."
Hesson said the pitch looked extremely dry and Vettori`s ability to contain batsmen would complement offspinner Mark Craig and leg spinner Ish Sodhi in the playing side.
"In the other ones you could see grass, you can`t actually see any out there, so it`s a bit different," Hesson added.
"Sharjah traditionally is lower and skiddier and slows up as the game goes on so I don`t expect this to be different.
"We`ll look again and see how it`s dried out. It`s a little bit tacky today, tomorrow we will get a bit more of an assessment."
One of the two pace-bowling all-rounders, Jimmy Neesham or Corey Anderson, is expected to drop out of the playing side if Vettori is recalled, with Trent Boult and Tim Southee retained as the new ball combination.
Pakistan hold a 1-0 series lead after a comprehensive 248-run victory in the first test in Abu Dhabi before the second match in Dubai ended in a draw.