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Black Caps must back themselves: Latham

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/10/2016

With three half-centuries to his name against India, opener Tom Latham says application is vital if New Zealand are to rescue the third Test in Indore. © REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui With three half-centuries to his name against India, opener Tom Latham says application is vital if New Zealand are to rescue the third Test in Indore. New Zealand's best batsman in the taxing Test series against India is backing his team's ability to avoid a third successive defeat.

Opener Tom Latham's Black Caps find themselves once again battling to survive with two days remaining in the final Test of a one-side series.

After compiling 557-5 declared, the hosts dismissed New Zealand for 299 late on day three and chose not to enforce the follow-on in Indore.

They are 18-0, boasting a lead of 276 and poised to give themselves more than four sessions to dismiss the tourists on a Holkar Stadium pitch showing signs of significant wear.

The match is following a familiar path.

SCORECARD AND BALL-BY-BALL COMMENTARY

In the first Test at Kanpur India set New Zealand 434 in the fourth innings and dismissed them for 236. In Kolkata, the target was 376 and the response was 197.

Latham believes they can put up stiffer resistance this time, even in increasingly favourable conditions for spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

"We've got to stay true to what we believe works on this surface," he said.

"If you have the right technique and mental state you can score runs.

"It's not cracking up much but there are dust and footmarks for bowlers to work with. They will be targeting those, so we've got to find a way of rectifying that."

Latham's 53 was his third half-century of the series and a lesson in adaptation.

He employed the sweep against the the heavily turning ball in previous Tests but was more orthodox in putting on 118 for the opening wicket with Martin Guptill (72) on Monday.

The left-hander was caught and bowled by Ashwin, providing the first of the offspinner's six wickets and sparking a collapse.

Ashwin claimed captain Kane Williamson for eight and scoreless pair Ross Taylor and Luke Ronchi in the space of 14 runs.

Ashwin, who has snared 20 wickets at 21 apiece in the series, caused more damage with his fingers when touching straight drives to run out both Guptill and Jeetan Patel at the non-striker's end.

Latham says the key to batting in India is digging in early on.

"It wasn't our day through the middle of innings and it was hard to start on that wicket," he said.

"Unfortunately our guys couldn't get in but we will have a massive chance to do so in second innings."

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