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Opener Latham will come right: Black Caps

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/02/2017

Tom Latham has the quality to shake off a lean batting trot, say his Black Caps team-mates.

A prolific run-scorer in the first part of New Zealand's home summer, left-handed opener Latham has scored just 13 runs in his last five ODIs.

The last four have been as wicketkeeper, with Black Caps coach Mike Hesson placing value on the options at his disposal if a specialist batsman wears the gloves.

Nothing should be read into the 24-year-old's dramatic drop in output - he has scored two runs off 17 balls in the current series against South Africa - according to allrounder Jimmy Neesham.

"Everyone goes through their highs and their lows, especially at the top of the order in one-day cricket," Neesham said.

"We know from the Test game what a quality Test player Tom is and wicketkeeping is a new role for him in international cricket, and it's a challenging role.

"But has the quality with the gloves. It's just a matter of getting to 10, getting that start, and he'll go again."

Hesson dismissed concerned about Latham's form, saying New Zealand had "ticked most of the boxes" in their dramatic six-run win in match two of the five-ODI series against the Proteas in Chirstchurch on Wednesday.

He confirmed Latham will remain at the top of the order with Dean Brownlie in the third game in Wellington on Saturday.

Regular opener Martin Guptill remains sidelined by a hamstring injury but it is hoped he will be fit for the last two games.

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