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Latham poised for 'keeping duties in ODIs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/01/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Opening batsman Tom Latham is shaping as New Zealand's likely wicketkeeper in the looming one-day international series against Australia.

Coach Mike Hesson spoke up the merits of handing the duties to part-time gloveman Latham for the three-match series beginning in Auckland on Monday, which would deny a debut to Wellington specialist Tom Blundell.

Hesson says he will save his decision until after they watch Latham behind the stumps for Canterbury against Auckland in Rangiora on Saturday.

That falls two days out from the Eden Park opener, where the 24-year-old will play his 50th ODI.

"He needs to get through a full 50 overs and show that he can back up," Hesson said.

"It'll depend on the balance we want once we look at the surface but if we go with Tom Latham, we're able to have another power player in the middle or have an extra bowling option.

"We've used him in the past spasmodically and he's done a very good job for us."

Latham was primarily a middle-order batsman when he played three ODIs and four T20s as a wicketkeeper early in his career.

He has since established himself as a quality opening batsman at Test and ODI level.

Test keeper BJ Watling was unsuccessfully used when New Zealand were thrashed 3-0 in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series in Australia in December.

Veteran Luke Ronchi is regarded as New Zealand's premier limited overs gloveman but is sidelined with a groin complaint.

Meanwhile, Hesson expressed no surprise that match-winning Australian opener David Warner was rested for the series.

He says the absence of the Alan Border medal winner is simply a sign of the busy cricketing times.

"Most sides either have someone left out at some stage or injuries," he said.

"We've certainly been in that boat where we've got a lot of guys unavailable as well.

"I think they've still got plenty of good players."

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