Tom Latham prefers sweep shots against spinners

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Tom Latham prefers sweep shots against spinners

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SportsCafe Desk


New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham said that he prefers the sweep against spinners and finds it easier to play than hitting down the ground. Moreover, he has also revealed that the New Zealand team prepared for the India tour, focusing specifically on the spin and playing in the middle.

Tom Latham scored an unbeaten century in the first ODI match against India at the Wankhede Stadium and his 103 runs were an immense contribution which led to this victory. The left-handed Latham used sweeps and reverse-sweeps to prevail over the Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.Latham revealed that he prefers playing the sweep shot against the spinners instead of hitting them down the ground. 

"Everybody is different in the way they play spin in different conditions. I think the Indians play the different way, they are used to these conditions and they have got their game," Latham told PTI on the eve of the second ODI.

"One thing that comes to me is sweep that I have played throughout my career. It’s something that I find easier to play than hitting down the ground. The other guys may find hitting down the ground easier. It’s important to have different game plans for different conditions and try and stick to that." 

Since coming to India, the middle-order batsman has been enjoying a good run of form, scoring a half-century and a ton in the warm-up games, followed by a century in the first ODI. On this he said that the team worked a lot, particularly in terms of spin and playing in the middle, to make this victory happen.

"I am not too sure (about the secret to success). We had a lot of preparation back home, coming out of the winter, when we come to India, it is obviously massive focus on spin and we lucky enough to be here last year, so we knew a little bit how India played and watching them against the Australian team, so lot of work in terms of spin and playing in the middle.”

"I put little bit of work in terms of coming over here and playing spin. On surfaces back home they were a little bit drier and quite responsive to spin. So, that was (a part) of the preparation."

Given the performance put forth by the Kiwis, there is a possibility of them winning their first series in India and Latham feels that the odds are in their favour.

"It was obviously pleasing to make a contribution and be there till the end. The partnership which me and Ross (Taylor) put on was vital for that and Ross played very well and deserves credit.”

"It was nice to keep the communication lines going. We have got one more game starting tomorrow, and if we play some good cricket then hopefully we would give us a chance of winning the series."

Moreover, Latham has been moved down the order to five despite being a specialist opener. But, he stated that he is quite familiar with No. 5 batting spot and used to play on that spot initially. 

"No, not really. (Not difficult to adapt to the batting order). It was nice to have those two warm-up games beforehand; and contribute in those games and start against spin. I have played in that position (No 5) before when I started playing for New Zealand. So, it’s not a position which is unfamiliar to me. It was more of a tactical shift than anything. Coming in the middle when the ball is little bit softer and playing a bit more spin. It is nice that I adapted quickly." 

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