Ben Stokes is on course to torment New Zealand in a whole new way after crunching 67 not out in his first innings of the winter.
And the Kiwis can only have themselves to blame if the Mirror Sport columnist goes on to turn his 20 Test fifty into something far more imposing.
With the second new ball accounting for Joe Denly for a well made 74, Stokes put on the afterburners to try and cash in on tiring Kiwi bowlers.
And after swatting Trent Boult for three successive fours he went for another big shot but could only edge to Ross Taylor at slip where the former skipper dropped the chance.
It could be a huge moment in the game after England’s batsmen took on board their instructions to play an old fashioned brand of cricket, and for the most part it paid off as they reached 241-4.
Patient accumulation was the order of the day as Denly, Stokes and Rory Burns all passed fifty and made the New Zealand bowlers toil for their rewards on a benign surface.
It was painstakingly slow at times, but this is precisely what Joe Root wanted to see from his top order as he strolled out to bat at 113-2.
His only frustration this time would surely have been his own dismissal for just two having taken 21 balls to get off the mark.
The very next ball he guided Neil Wagner to second slip with a shot more suited to the 50 over game. He is unlikely to make the same mistake again in this series.
Root had replace Burns who can consider himself lucky to have reached a fifth Test half century having been wrongly given not out to a caught behind appeal on 14, and then was missed in the slips on 37.
Still, he had done his job with Dominic Sibley in an opening partnership of 52 before the latest Test debutant was caught at slip by Taylor for 22.
Sibley looked reasonably comfortable in the environment and even announced his arrival with a clipped four through mid-wicket from his very first ball in Test cricket.
He took a little longer to get his fifth run as the tempo for the day was established at under three runs per over.
Denly and Stokes put on 83 for the fourth wicket and were in no trouble at all until the second new ball arrived and Tim Southee found both the angle and the movement to take the Kent man’s edge.
Ollie Pope settled in alongside Stokes to reach 18 not out and the pair will be setting their sights on plenty more on day two.