Cricket: Tom Latham and Neil Broom handle the extra responsibility

Neil Broom provided a vital knock in the middle of the innings for the Black Caps. Photo / Photosport
Neil Broom provided a vital knock in the middle of the innings for the Black Caps. Photo / Photosport

In the wake of the Australian Marcus Stoinis' batting blitz, it's easy to forget two recent selection elements helped orchestrate New Zealand's opening six-run victory in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

Tom Latham delivered a proactive display as wicketkeeper and Neil Broom's resurgence continued as a middle order batsman.

When Australia slumped to 67 for six in the 19th over, Latham had featured in the previous four dismissals. He caught Peter Handscomb (off Tim Southee), Glenn Maxwell and Sam Heazlett (off Lockie Ferguson), and stumped Shaun Marsh (off Mitchell Santner).

Those will have afforded him confidence in his first ODI as gloveman since 2013. He went on to stump Pat Cummins, equalling the New Zealand wicketkeeping record of five dismissals in an ODI held jointly by Adam Parore, Brendon McCullum and Gareth Hopkins. Latham moved with fluency and conceded no byes, although a more rigorous test will come when, as opener, he bats longer into the New Zealand innings than 2.5 overs.

With a series victory on the horizon in Napier, New Zealand might be reluctant to debut fellow wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, as has been mooted. Latham was also valuable as a sounding board for captain Kane Williamson, offering advice on fielding angles for the small ground.

In addition, the selection rejig paid dividends by allowing an extra all-rounder to feature. Jimmy Neesham's 48 off 45 balls bolstered the middle order batting.

New Zealand's innings survival rested with Neesham and Broom, who came together in the 26th over at 134 for five after a spate of wickets. The pair put on 76 in 77 balls.

Broom continued the form which resurrected his international career against Bangladesh, posting his third consecutive ODI half-century or better after 109 not out and 97 in Nelson over the festive season. The 33-year-old top-scored with 73 off 75 balls and could be a force to be reckoned with during the mid-year Champions Trophy in England.

He is further justifying the considerable efforts to get him released from his Derbyshire contract.

Since the World Cup, Brendon and Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills and Grant Elliott have retired from the ODI format for New Zealand. Regulars of recent seasons - Corey Anderson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne and Ross Taylor - have also been injured of late.

The way Broom and Latham have assumed the extra responsibility is a welcome boon.


"Tom put together a tidy, unblemished display [with the gloves]," coach Mike Hesson said.

"The thing a lot of people don't realise is that he's been a wicketkeeper most of his life. It's not a makeshift move. For a couple of years he was focused on opening the batting, and we've encouraged that.

"Now he's at point in his career where he's doing that [the keeping] as well. It's not an option in test cricket, but in ODIs it's an area where he's got a lot of skill."

Hesson confirmed Broom would be sticking at No.5 for the series.

"He's shown the experience we like, and he's calm. [Yesterday's innings] was another example of what he did against Bangladesh in pressure situations.

"We're missing Grant Elliott [this season] and the experience we had in the middle from Neil is performing that role for us."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 30 May 2017 20:55:35 Processing Time: 1022ms