South Africa have left Shaun Pollock out of their team to face New Zealand in the first Test on Thursday.
The veteran all-rounder was left out of the 2-0 series win against Pakistan in October.
Though he was selected in the Proteas' 12-man squad, he has not made the starting XI.
Slow left-armer Paul Harris has been chosen in Pollock's place, while Andre Nel will open the bowling, and captain Graeme Smith admits it was a difficult decision to make.
"We have a lot of respect for Shaun Pollock but the team that did really well in Pakistan deserves another chance," Smith said.
"I would not have liked to go into the match without a spinner, because I think we might need Paul Harris through the Test. You need an attack to win Test matches."
Daniel Vettori will captain New Zealand for the first time in Test match cricket meanwhile, with paceman Shane Bond set to be a key figure.
Former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming is in the squad and remains a key figure at the top of the order.
South Africa Team: Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Paul Harris, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.
New Zealand (from): Daniel Vettori (capt), Craig Cumming, Michael Papps, Stephen Fleming, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum (wk), Shane Bond, Michael Mason, Iain O'Brien, Chris Martin, Lou Vincent, Mark Gillespie, Jeetan Patel.