Will look to grow and improve as a leader – Tom Latham

TOI Sports/Twitter

Tom Latham said that it is an honor for him to lead as a stand-in captain for New Zealand in the T20 series against Bangladesh under the absence of Kane Williamson.

Tom Latham said that it is an ‘honor’ to lead the side in the five T20I matches against Bangladesh. However, it won’t be easy to lead an inexperienced New Zealand side against Bangladesh, who recently destroyed the mighty Australians in the last series. 

Tom Latham last played a T20I in 2017 while his last T20 at the domestic level was in 2019. He scored 110 off 60 in his domestic level game.

“It is a really big honor to lead the side from a T20 point of view,”

Tom Latham said. 

” I haven’t played for a long time. The way the world is at the moment, what NZC is doing for player welfare, it has presented an opportunity for a lot of the guys including myself. We know things won’t be easy over here looking at the Australia series. From a leadership point of view, you are always looking to grow and improve. This format presents another opportunity. I have had captaincy experience in the past. This is a slightly younger group,”

he added.

Tom Latham is confident that the team is ready to take the challenge and explained how this was a great opportunity for most of the inexperienced players to show their skills. 

But it wouldn’t directly affect the World T20 selection. New Zealand has selected the upcoming T20 World Cup squad earlier. Black Caps have also prepared for the series by playing on tired tracks in Lincoln at the High-Performance Centre.

“Most of the guys have experience at this level before. A Couple of guys haven’t been in the squad before, it is exciting for them to get in the group and try to keep things as relaxed as possible. We had really good training over the past five days. We will finish off our final preparations today. We have been well looked after in Bangladesh. There has been a good vibe around the group. We have had two camps so, from a preparation point of view, it has been a long time. Everyone is pretty excited to get going tomorrow.”

Latham is hopeful of toppling Bangladesh in their backyard

“It is pretty easy to motivate yourself when playing for the country. I  haven’t had a lot of opportunities in the T20s, so it is exciting. Even for the other guys. Most of the guys have played T20s for New Zealand but probably not as much as they would like to. We have to enjoy ourselves out there and stick to a brand of cricket that we believe can be successful in these conditions. Our goal is to win the series,”

Latham explained. 

Latham stated that he is aware of the threat created by the left-arm pacer, Mustafizur Rahman. He was a constant threat in the recent series against Australia and bowls it with no real change in his arm speed.

“Mustafiz at the top of the innings is renowned for his slower ball. We saw how he bowled against Australia. The spinners at the top and through the middle will present the challenges. We are looking forward to facing them tomorrow,”

he signed off.

Also read: Updates in Bangladesh squad for New Zealand series