Extensive research and a touch of caution swathes Mike Hesson's work as the national cricket coach.

There are no exultant whoops or crashing despair on the public stage as he discusses the performance and tactics from his sides which tackle the rigours of test matches to the smash and crash of T20.

Behind the earnest responses and serious countenance, he will embrace an adventurer such as Brendon McCullumwhose style was about winning rather than not losing, qualities his coach admired.

Three weeks today, Hesson's first test side of the summer will go to work against the West Indies at the Basin Reserve.


After the latest tour to India, Hesson was quizzed about the makeup of his test squad and suggested there would not be much tinkering.

But maybe a concept is starting to germinate. He has watched the successful transition for Tom Latham from opener to middle-order batsman and keeper in the shorter-form games in India and seen some of the damaging potential of Colin Munro emerge as opener.

That switch was part of New Zealand's improved showings in India and should prompt Hesson into giving the same template a whirl in the longer form of the game as long as he is convinced about the quality of Latham's keeping to all bowlers.

If Hesson stays with the Latham-Jeet Raval opening test combination used against South Africa that takes Latham out of the frontline keeping role and means BJ Watling stays as a wicketkeeper and lower-order batsman.

Picking Munro as a test opener is a risk but an explosive few hours at the crease from the leftie could create all sorts of damage.

The alternatives (aside from Latham) are uncertain or unlikely. Away from his one-day work, Martin Guptill battles to find a test level comfort, Hamish Rutherford is going through more repair work, age may count against Michael Papps and history against Jesse Ryder.

A partnership of Raval and Munro offers more potential and the chance to enhance growing confidence with continued selection. Then the middle order can be tweaked and bowling ideas explored for different surfaces.

Munro's potential was noted early in the national cricket circles and he played for the national under 19 side but at 30 has only made one test appearance. By any evaluation that is slow progress and those reasons will have been examined by the national selectors.

But they picked him last summer then in India, Munro scored 236 runs from 186 balls in six limited overs games.

Take out his extraordinary century in the second T20 and the stats are not compelling but his ability to deliver explosive momentum at the top of the innings creates results.

The selectors have to decide if they can support Munro's methods and whether that direction suits the style New Zealand wants to play.

He is not in the same ballpark as pugnacious Aussie leftie David Warner who was plucked from the obscurity of grade cricket and has smashed out a remarkable career across all levels of the sport.

But Munro has a similar gift for upsetting bowlers and as a tasty move why not ask him to give the West Indies some "go and fetch that" test music in the run up to Christmas.