The Black Caps are ramping up to play India on the subcontinent, but Coach Mike Hesson is giving the lads a bit of time to recover from jet lag before making a decision on who will wear the gloves for the upcoming ODIs.
Tom Latham is the expected choice, as his batting skills against the Indian spinners from his spot in the middle of the order are unquestioned. Hesson has moved Latham down from the top to the middle of the order, a move that should permit him to pair power-hitter Colin Munro with Martin Guptill for the three ODIs.
There is still a possibility that Hesson will replace Latham with one of three capable wicketkeepers, Tom Blundell, Glenn Phillips or Tim Seifert.
Replacing Latham is something of a risk, since he has the most experience playing internationals.
“Tom (Latham) is certainly the most experienced of those keepers, the other three are still very much developing,” Hesson, who flew out with nine NZ squad members to India on Thursday, acknowledged.
Latham took the point of view that moving down the order would permit him to benefit his work with the gloves, which certainly seems logical.
Batting at the top, Latham did clearly demonstrate that he could deal with India’s spin bowlers, which is likely to become even more of a factor as the order progresses. He did not, however, express any resentment or trepidation over being moved down.
“I guess that is the beauty of batting in the middle order,” Latham said.”You don’t necessarily know what situation you are going to come into. In India you have to be adaptable to the conditions as well, in terms of conditions and who is bowling.”
The series begins on October 22 and the Black Caps can expect to have their hands full, but Hesson’s concept of putting big hitters at the top against the world’s top-ranked team could pay dividends.