Tom Latham reveals what their main focus will be on against India

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Tom Latham : Focussing on facing spin more than seam

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SportsCafe Desk

10/20/2017

With India's spinning threat looming large, Tom Latham has focused his training regime to help him counter spin for the upcoming limited-overs series in the subcontinent. Latham, who has been switched to the No. 5 position, has stated that the change was more of a mental shift than a technical one.

Opting to bat first, centuries from Ross Taylor and Tom Latham helped New Zealand post a mammoth 343 for 9 in 50 overs in the second warm-up match against Indian Board President’s XI and despite the stunning late assault from Gurkeerat Singh and Jaydev Unadkat, the visitors registered a 33-run victory. 

For Tom Latham, it must have been a sense of deja vu as he belied his 24-year-old frame on his first senior tour of India last year as he scored at least one half-century in each of the three Tests New Zealand played. In the entire tour, he had used his sweep shots to great effect and emerged as the best batsman for his team in the tour. Now upon his second tour to the Asian nation, the wicket-keeper batsman has stated that they expect more spin and thereby, practicing more for that.

"Our focus is big on spin here. We are focussing on facing more spin than seam here and finding ways to score, to hit gaps and find boundaries. That's probably the biggest thing coming over here," the left-handed batsman said at the post-match press conference, reported PTI.

"Playing against a couple of left-armers and the leggie (Karn Sharma) today was an ideal preparation. Whatever we need we can get, stuff from the footage and that sort of things. We obviously know that they (Kuldeep and Chahal) are quality bowlers and they have done really well in the previous series."

With New Zealand deciding to bat Colin Munro and Martin Guptill as openers, New Zealand were desperate to have the wicket-keeper batting in the top-five, thus facilitating the accommodation of two seam-bowling all-rounders. But Latham brushed aside the potential woes as a lower-order batsman and stated that the switch is more mental than technical.

"It is probably a more of a mental shift than technical. I guess it is about sticking to your game plan. The ball is not as quite as new but, on the other hand, there are more gaps and I guess it is more tactical and mental switch as against anything else," said Latham, who hit a half-century and century respectively in the two practice games.

"Yeah it is obviously a little bit of change from the last couple of years but that is something we have discussed. It was nice to have spent some time in the middle and get familiar with the role today. Having Colin (Munro) at the top can be very destructive and if he and Martin (Guptill) can get going, they can be unstoppable."

New Zealand will face India for the first ODI in Mumbai on Sunday (October 22).

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