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Raval keen to maintain batting momentum

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/03/2017

Black Caps opener Jeet Raval isn't too keen on collecting kudos for his gritty stand in last week's second Test loss to South Africa in Wellington.

The 28-year-old left-hander batted for a shade over four hours for his 174-ball 80, his highest innings in just six Tests and by far the best Black Caps' second innings knock.

Only Neil Broom (20) and BJ Watling (29) managed double figures as the Proteas swept to an eight-wicket win inside three days at the Basin Reserve.

Raval admits to gaining some confidence from his innings, but says he should have done better.

"I would have like to scored not 80, but 180, because that's what wins you games, so I was disappointed in that regard," Raval said in Hamilton on Thursday.

Raval has averaged 56 for the Test series to date, and is looking to boost that further when the third and final Test begins on Saturday at Seddon Park.

"Hopefully I can carry on that momentum that I built in the first two Tests and take it into this game."

Raval says the Black Caps have been thinking about where they need to improve if they want to level the three-Test series, after the rain-affected first Test in Dunedin two weeks ago ended in a draw.

"There's been a fair bit of reflection over the last Test, but all in all we've learnt from our mistakes, and we're looking forward to the next five days here and rectifying our errors," he said.

"If we can do our skills for long periods of time, and apply pressure and absorb pressure, then we'll come out on top.

"It's a great chance for us to square the series against a world-class opposition."

Raval also stood up with a vote in confidence in out-of-form fellow opener Tom Latham, who has 24 runs from his three Test innings against South Africa.

"Tommy's going to come right - he's a world class player," Raval said.

"Every player goes through rough patches. It's about going back to the basics and doing it as well as you can.

"We've all got faith in Tommy."

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