New Zealand have confirmed reserve batsman and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell will open during the second Test against Australia on Boxing Day in Melbourne with Jeet Raval set to be dropped.

Blundell opened for New Zealand in their single day practice match against Victoria XI at Scotch College in Melbourne on Sunday and made 59. The two-day game had been reduced to a single day fixture due to extreme heat in Melbourne on Friday.

Blundell has only played two Test matches, against West Indies at home in 2017, where he made an unbeaten century on debut as wicketkeeper. He has never opened in 93 first-class innings and has not batted any higher than No. 5. He has only opened in four domestic T20s and six List A matches for Wellington but has not done so since 2017.

However, Blundell is confident he can make the adjustment. "I think it's just a mindset shift," he said. "I'll probably try and still bat the same but it's just the first 30 balls, you have to be a little bit patient outside that off stump. If I can last those 30 balls hopefully I can bat a little bit more positively.

"I feel like I can do a good job wherever and this game I've been given the opportunity to open and I'm really looking forward to Boxing day."

Veteran batsman and team-mate Ross Taylor backed Blundell's selection for the fixture at the MCG.

"It's fantastic," Taylor said. "Couldn't think of a better place [for Blundell] to be introduced to opening the batting. I think he started off with a hundred in his Test debut back home in New Zealand and he definitely won't be over-awed by the occasion.

"He obviously started well today [at the practice match], got a 50, and the team are thoroughly enjoying him being around and are looking forward to seeing what he can do come Boxing Day.

"I think one of his strengths is pace bowling. He loves to play the short ball. He hasn't played a lot of Test cricket but when he has played he's got a hundred on debut. It's lovely for him to get out there and show what he's got. I fully back him and look forward to seeing how he goes."

Raval's form has forced New Zealand's hand after he failed to reach double figures in seven of his last nine Test innings. Trent Boult is also set to return from his intercostal injury to replace the injured Lockie Ferguson. With just one day of cricket before the Test, Boult played for the Victoria XI, bowling 11 overs across three spells and claimed the wicket of Tom Latham.

Australia are set to make one change with coach Justin Langer confirming to 6PR on Saturday that James Pattinson would replace injured fast bowler Josh Hazlewood.