Skipper Kane Williamson has been enjoying a different perspective watching from the sidelines as the Black Caps have dominated the West Indies in both ODI and Twenty20 formats.
Williamson returns for Monday's second T20 at Bay Oval in Tauranga, and for the third two days later, refreshed from a planned break which saw him miss the final two ODI matches and the first T20.
He admits it's been a little difficult to step back, but says it's been worth it to see players like Glenn Phillips make their mark.
The young wicketkeeper-batsman scored an up-tempo 40-ball 55 in New Zealand's 47-run win in the first T20, capping off a memorable day with three superb catches including a brilliant diving dismissal of dangerous opener Chris Gayle.
Williamson says the 21-year-old has been developing nicely since showing promise on New Zealand's recent tour of India.
"He's a great fella to have in the group - he's a bit of an energiser bunny and extremely quick," Williamson said on Sunday.
"He runs around and makes things happen in the field as we saw in the last game, and he's a real talent with the bat as well, really dynamic."
Williamson admitted it had been something of a challenge to turn off from cricket, but his break had been made easier by New Zealand's dominant performances in the three games he'd missed.
The Black Caps won the second ODI by 204 runs, the rain-affected third by 66 runs, then went on to comfortably win the first T20 in Nelson on Saturday.
"The team's playing some good cricket," Williamson said.
"One of the bonuses of having guys have small breaks is the fact that we're able to get other guys game time at the highest level, and that does help with the depth."