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Santner and Latham tour standouts: Hesson

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/10/2016

Mike Hesson has singled out Tom Latham and Mitchell Santner as the standout performers of a New Zealand tour of India littered with more low points than high.

Canterbury opener Latham and Northern Districts spinning allrounder Santner both impressed in the Test series (lost 3-0) and the one-day internationals (lost 3-2).

Black Caps coach Hesson says the 24-year-olds shared a common trait.

"They're two guys who had never played in India before but they adapted so quickly," he said.

"All of us can learn that if you're good enough to keep evolving your game, you can have some success in all conditions.

"They're two very talented players but also two very smart players who deserved the success they got."

Left-hander Latham notched five fifties for the tour and was the second top run scorer in the ODIs with 244 runs at an average of 61.

Santner was joint third top wicket taker in the Tests and was the most economical bowler from both sides in the ODI series, going at 4.00 runs an over.

"Mitch is highly regarded in India as one of the best they've seen for a long time," Hesson said.

"Tom Latham certainly had a pleasing one-day series as well.

"The rest of it, we'll reflect on it as a missed opportunity."

Hesson's search for silver linings also included the rejuvenated form of Tim Southee in the ODIs after shaking off injury while he said fellow-seamer Trent Boult set a consistently high standard in mostly unhelpful conditions.

Hesson says the tour will have also been invaluable for captain Kane Williamson.

"Without a doubt he's developed," he said.

"It's a tough tour for a captain when you're struggling for team performance and as captain you come under scrutiny and have to keep coming up with lots of different answers.

"Kane's a very thoughtful and deliberate captain and I thought he did really well."

Hesson says the majority of his team will be made available for the third round of Plunket Shield matches starting on November 5, 12 days before the first Test against Pakistan in Christchurch.

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