New Zealand coach John Bracewell would prefer not to be facing Andrew Flintoff when they play England this summer.
England's talismanic all-rounder is looking good in county action after a fourth ankle operation, and he is being tipped to be fit enough to face the Black Caps at Lord's in the first Test.
New Zealand begin their warm-up schedule against Kent on Monday without five starters, who are still playing in the Indian Premier League.
Bracewell says that he would prefer not to see Flintoff's name on the England teamsheet for the opening Test on May 15.
"As a coach, I don't want to face him," said Bracewell.
"He is like Jesse Ryder - there are certain personalities that need to be in the game.
"He certainly makes a difference to any team because he bats and bowls."
Rising star Ryder could well have been in the New Zealand team but for his off-field antics, but with his absence and the IPL complication the tourists face an uphill battle.
England came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in New Zealand, and Bracewell believes the hosts will play the same style as they did in that series.
"I don't think their strategy will be different from in New Zealand, they predominantly kept the ball up," Bracewell added.
"Steve (Harmison) and Stuart (Broad) bowled a bit more aggressively in terms of trying to keep us on the back foot.
"The swing bowlers used the ball well so whatever combination they pick will ask questions."
New Zealand conditions are similar to those in early-season England, so Bracewell knows what to expect.
"We are used to playing on wickets that do a bit, we produce similar sorts of bowlers in terms of swing bowlers and seam bowlers - it's going to be about getting our skills up to scratch to be competitive," added Bracewell.
"We're working hard on that."
Jamie How captains New Zealand against Kent with the likes of Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Jacob Oram not arriving until later.
The 26-year-old is relishing the experience of leading the team, despite it being a vastly depleted one from that which should start in the first Test.
"It's a great opportunity," How said of his chance to lead.
"I'm the first to admit it's a holding or part-time role but even if it is a warm-up match it is still an honour to captain your country. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
"We don't often get a lot of games leading into Tests so it will give us a chance to continue our work throughout our season and work towards the first Test.
"It's always an opportunity to press for selection but our guys are realistic about those coming back, they are our senior players."