A dearth of alternatives exists below the current group of under-performing international batsmen, according to the New Zealand Cricket selection boss.
National selector manager Kim Littlejohn said the Black Caps' 10-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the first Test at Galle, completed inside three days on Monday (NZT), was "not acceptable".
However, finding a solution to their malaise in all forms of the game was a complex process.
New Zealand's fifth successive Test defeat cements their ranking at eighth in the world, matching their position in the one-day international and Twenty20 standings.
Bangladesh is close to surpassing them in the two shortened versions.
Littlejohn said the time-honoured method of expecting players to jump from domestic to international cricket was out-dated and asked for supporters to be patient.
"These guys we have are the best players. They dominate domestic cricket and score lots of runs in domestic competition, that's why they get picked," Littlejohn told RadioLIVE.
"But when they jump up they find the game is a lot different in the international arena now.
"The thing that really sticks out is that our system that prepares players for international cricket is just not working at the moment. It's no quick fix."
Australian Littlejohn said other countries boasted established `A' team programmes to bridge the gap and have set up individual player programmes beyond their domestic duties.
Former New Zealand greats Glenn Turner and Martin Crowe have recently renewed their involvement with NZC and will join Littlejohn in identifying the cream of the domestic crop.
Littlejohn named Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell as the spearheads of a promising wave of seam bowlers.
However, the batting future wasn't so bright in the short term.
"There are young batsmen there but they're a long way off at the moment. They're two-three years away and the longer we can develop them in the systems below the Black Caps, the better they'll be when they reach the international scene."