Expecting the conditions in the first Test against India to be drastically different from those in the ongoing warm-up tie against Mumbai, New Zealand opener Tom Latham said it was a positive development that several batsmen of his side got to spend substantial time in the middle.
The pitch laid out for the tie at Kotla did not offer turn on day one but the one for the first Test in Kanpur beginning September 22 is expected to assist India’s quality spinners.
Latham, who showed promise with a solid 55, said there was no point worrying about the conditions in the Test series.
“All we can do is play with whatever surface we have got. I think the time guys spent in the middle was crucial for everyone to adapt to the conditions and familiarise themselves with their game plans. Obviously it might turn a little bit more (in the first Test) but we have got what we have got out here,” said Latham, who is yet to play a Test in India in 22 matches.
New Zealand declared at 324 for 7 with nine of the 15 squad members getting a decent hit in the middle. Latham was one of them who attacked the spinners with purpose.
“The way guys adapted to conditions was important, even though the ball was not turning that big. So using the feet and coming down the wicket to hit over the top was a good method. Most of the guys spent enough time in the middle, which was good for our preparation.
“Early on, there was a little bit of shape. We knew that the new ball will be crucial for both teams. If both teams can use that, there is a chance of getting wickets early on. Hopefully our bowlers can do that tomorrow morning,” said the 24-year-old from Christchurch.
New Zealand have been here for almost a week now but are yet to get used to the Indian heat and humidity. But if you end up spending time in the middle, it will lead to runs, said Latham.
“That morning session was very hot. Probably one of the hottest I have batted in. The amount of sweat and the amount of time you change your gloves. Been here a few days and probably have not adapted to the heat quite yet but I am sure a day out in the park tomorrow will help us acclimatise fully,” he said.
“Also, if you spend time at the crease, you will get the runs (here in India). I think it is more about guys applying their game plan and getting used to the conditions. Certainly we got what we needed here and that puts us in good steps ahead of the first Test,” he added.