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21 Oct 2017 8:49
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  •   Home > News > Sports

    Hesson ready to solve keeping conundrum

    Decision time is closing in for coach Mike Hesson as he prepares to name a new wicketkeeper and opening combination for the Black Caps tour of India.

    Black Caps coach Mike Hesson is nearing decision time in his quest for a new wicketkeeper and a revamped opening combination.

    Hesson left on Thursday for India, where the New Zealanders will play three one-day internationals, the first on October 22 in Mumbai, followed by three Twenty20s.

    He has already named nine of his squad, with six more to come from the New Zealand A team currently playing their Indian counterparts in the subcontinent.

    With Luke Ronchi having announced his retirement four months ago, Tom Latham has generally been seen as the next in line to pull on the wicketkeeper's gloves.

    Hesson has already indicated that former opener Latham will be slotting into the middle order, but has yet to make his preference for wicketkeeper known.

    "Tom is pushing his case as someone who can keep and bat in the middle," Hesson said.

    "He's very much a possibility, and we've got three others on the New Zealand A tour at the moment.

    "We'll make a decision in a few days."

    Among Hesson's options are the in-form Glenn Phillips, who belted an unbeaten 140 from 130 balls in the tied 50-over match against India A earlier this week.

    He has kept for New Zealand under-19, and for Auckland in the white ball format, as well as playing for New Zealand in last year's T20 against South Africa.

    Also in the running are two other New Zealand under-19 graduates in Tom Blundell and Tim Seifert.

    "Tom is certainly the most experienced of those keepers - the other three are very much developing," Hesson said.

    Latham's move down the order, where his ability against spin will be crucial, allows Hesson the opportunity to bring in some power hitting at the top to partner Martin Guptill.

    "Martin and Tom, although they've had some really good performances individually, haven't quite clicked and certainly haven't generated the strike rate as a pair that we'd like," Hesson said.

    Colin Munro and George Worker, both currently on tour with New Zealand A, are two possibilities he's looking at closely.

    "They're certainly two guys who have some good qualities to create a strike rate at the top of the order," Hesson said.

    "The challenge that any touring side faces is that if you get yourself in, you actually have to make big scores because it's very difficult to come in part way through and start."


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