Latham looking to ‘enjoy’ in ‘challenging conditions’
Despite being entrusted with the responsibility to lead a fairly inexperienced side, New Zealand captain Tom Latham said he is looking forward to enoying the challenge of the five-match T20 series against Bangladesh, starting tomorrow.
With New Zealand not sending their first-string team to Bangladesh, Latham will have to guide a second-string side in what he termed as 'challenging conditions'.
"We know it is going to be a challenge, and how good those (Bangladeshi) guys are in these conditions. They have a wealth of experience. We have to play the best we can. The guys are up for it," Latham said in a pre-match press briefing on Tuesday.
Elaborating on the challenge from the hosts, Latham said, "They have threats all around their group. Mustafiz at the top of the innings, is renowned for his slower balls. We saw how he bowled against Australia. The spinners at the top and through the middle, will present the challenges. They have some fearless batsmen, who take the game head on."
Latham himself will have to adapt to the conditions and the format, having last played a T20I back in 2017.
"We have to try to adapt, stick to your plans and blueprint, to see what you can do for the side. We have to put the best foot forward whichever situation I myself or the guys face.
"We are preparing for wickets that Australia faced about a month ago. We had some really good camps in New Zealand. We have to play on a surface that will be a lot more challenging than what we expect. We have acclimatized to the conditions here in the last five days." the left-handed batsman said.
Admitting that leading the side 'is a really big honour', Latham said he was looking to work with a young group of players with a few seniors in the mix.
"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. There's a bit of experience here, so will try to lean on those guys as much as possible. I will be behind the stumps as well.
Deliberating on the fact that this New Zealand team have a number of all-rounders alongside three spinners and a couple of fast bowlers, Latham feels that they should be enjoying themselves in these conditions and play to win the series.
"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 said.