24 Jan 2017

Latham likely to glove up for Black Caps

3:03 pm on 24 January 2017

The Black Caps opening batsman Tom Latham is shaping as New Zealand's likely wicketkeeper in the one-day international cricket series against Australia.

Tom Latham

Tom Latham. Photo: Photosport

Coach Mike Hesson spoke up the merits of handing the duties to part-time keeper Latham for the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series beginning in Auckland on Monday, which would deny an ODI debut to Wellington's Tom Blundell.

Hesson 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.

The New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson.

The New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"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 injury.