Canterbury opener Tom Latham will take the wicketkeeping gloves in tomorrow's opening Chappell Hadlee ODI match at Eden Park.

Wellington's Tom Blundell, his province's regular wicketkeeper, is in the squad, but will sit out the first game of the three-match series in favour of Latham, who has done plenty of wicketkeeping during his career but is essentially viewed as a part timer.

Latham did well in what may have amounted to a dress rehearsal for Canterbury in their win over Auckland in the Ford Trophy at Rangiora yesterday.

Not only did he made a half century but snapped up two stumpings from spinner Tim Johnston.


''We haven't finalized the XI but that's one spot we're going to go with, particularly in the first game," captain Kane Williamson said today.

''Tom has added experience that allows us to strengthen the higher middle order, with Ross (Taylor) at No 4 and Neil Broom at five."

The extra buzz of facing Australia remains intact for New Zealand's cricket team, according to Williamson.

With the amount of cricket played in the modern game around the world, it would be easy for Australian contests to be seen as just another assignment.

Not so, says champion batsman Williamson.

''In any sport they are our neighbours and there's always that competition when you play them.

''You are wanting to be at your best and you know when you come up against Australia in any sport, they'll (provide) stiff competition. At the moment they are setting the benchmark (in cricket).

''Any time you have the opportunity to play the best, you want to show up and put out a performance than can beat the best."