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Black Caps adopt arm wrestle mentality

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/07/2016

Opener Tom Latham predicts patience will be a key virtue in New Zealand's two-Test series against Zimbabwe.

The Black Caps arrived in Bulawayo on Monday with plenty of lessons learned despite the straightforward of a 259-run thumping of Zimbabwe A in Harare.

Even though victory was achieved inside three days, opener Tom Latham said neither runs nor wickets came easily on a dead surface.

He expects similar difficulties at the Queens Sports Club, where the first Test begins on Friday.

"The conditions are quite low and slow, compared to what we have back home, so that's the biggest thing we need to adjust to," he said.

"It's more the patience side of things. You're not going to go out and blast quick runs over here.

"It's about playing a patience game and trying to wear the bowlers down by batting for a day or four sessions."

The same attitude will be needed with the ball. A stubborn batsman could put the anchor down and be difficult to remove, Latham said.

Latham said the Harare game was invaluable for players either coming from a four-month break in New Zealand or from contracts at clubs which had been playing a chunk of limited overs cricket.

The game, preceded by a week-long training camp in South Africa, had put the players in the right mental state, the left-handed 18-Test veteran said.

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