Daniel Flynn could develop into New Zealand's version of Ricky Ponting, according to Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori.
Flynn made a promising debut in the drawn first Test against England at Lord's, seeing the tourists to safety with a painstaking 23 not out when batting at number six in the second innings.
And Vettori believes that could be the start of a long international career for the 23-year-old left-hander, who is earmarked to follow the gradual route up the batting order that Australian captain Ponting followed.
Ponting was used at number six at the start of his Test career before eventually making the number three spot his own. He averages 58.53 from 116 Tests.
"He's (Flynn) got that number six role basically for as long as he wants and if he keeps producing performances like he did first up then it is the start of a good career for him," said Vettori.
"He's a new guy in the Test arena and it is always easier to blood guys at that five and six level and as they get experience and mature they can go up to four or three.
"The perfect example is someone like Ricky Ponting, who started at six and slowly moved his way up - we all acknowledge what a good player he has become.
"My preference for him is to stay at number six for quite a long period of time and hopefully, when he's ready, he can sneak up the order.
"I have known Daniel for a while and he is a hard little guy who doesn't give too much away. Any chance he gets he really settles in."
Flynn helped Jacob Oram add 132 runs in a match-saving fifth-wicket partnership at Lord's of which Oram's share was 101.
Vettori was happy with the way the Black Caps' new-look middle order - Brendon McCullum moving up to five and Oram down to seven - performed.
"The way he acknowledged Jacob was the aggressor, and that he could sit back, play a composed innings, turn over the strike and not take too many risks was a great sign for a guy in his first Test," added Vettori.
"The moves that (coach) John (Bracewell) and myself made to put (McCullum) up to five and Jacob down to seven, to relieve a bit of pressure in terms of the workload expectations of a number six, really paid off in this Test.
"He (Oram) just played naturally, that is what we have been asking of him.
"Anyone with five Test match hundreds against tough opposition on tough grounds is a good player. He still has a lot of cricket left in him, so we can expect a lot more hundreds from him."
The second instalment of the three-Test series starts at Old Trafford on Friday and is being screened live on Sky Sports.