New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham stressed on the importance of adapting to the conditions quickly, ahead of their upcoming tour of Pakistan. The Blackcaps, who recently toured Bangladesh with a second string side, went down by two games to three in the five-match T20I series.
Kiwis had a tough start to the Bangladesh tour, as they were bundled out for 60 in the first T20I of the series, before falling agonisingly short by four runs in the second. In the fourth game, they were bundled out for 93, which is their seventh lowest total in T20Is.
There were positives however, with the team winning two of the last three games. Skipper Tom Latham, who registered two fifties in the series, including a match-winning one in the fifth game on Friday, September 10, was pleased with the effort. The left-hander scored an unbeaten 50 off 37 balls, to help his side recover from 83/4 in 11 overs, to post a match winning total of 161/5.
"It was obviously nice to spend a little bit of time in the middle," Latham said. "Haven't played a lot of T20 cricket for New Zealand but also for Canterbury over the last couple of years. For me, it's just about finding a way in these conditions that are so foreign to us and probably a little bit harder than what we expected. So, for me it's about, I guess, do the role as best as you can and it was nice I could do that."
Latham further believed that the team will get used to the subcontinent conditions with time.
"I think a lot of these guys haven't played in the subcontinent before, so for them to have exposure to a different brand of cricket and a different way of cricket is going to be good for them and good for New Zealand cricket. Over the recent years, we've had some good results in the subcontinent across all three formats. So, the more we play in these conditions the more we are able to learn, we push our games forward." he said.
The 29-year-old also praised the young opener Finn Allen and fast bowler Ben Sears. Allen scored 41 runs off 24 in the fifth T20I, while hitting 14 off seamer Shoriful Islam in the fourth over of the innings. Sears impressed with clocking the speed in the 140s in the second match. He dismissed Mohammad Naim with a 147 Kmph delivery.
"Yeah, especially it was great to see Ben come out; he hasn't had a lot of opportunity on this tour so far," Latham said. "To bowl like he did - he bowled quite quick, which is nice to see. Someone like him who hasn't been around in domestic cricket for that long and Finn at the top showed how explosive he can be and got us off to such a good start, which is probably why we got to the score we did," The-29-year-old added.
New Zealand will now tour Pakistan for three ODIs and five T20Is. It's their first tour of the country since 2003 and spectators up to 25% capacity have been allowed for the white-ball series in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively. New Zealand will also be bolstered by the return of Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman and Ish Sodhi, who are all part of the T20 World Cup squad.
The first ODI will be played on September 17 in Rawalpindi.