Tom Latham marks his return to the shortest format of the game after four years, as New Zealand head to Bangladesh for a five-match T20I series. Incidentally, Latham’s last T20 appearance came in 2019 but owing to the unavailability of the first-choice players, who have travelled to the Middle East for the IPL, the southpaw has been handed the responsibility of leading the side.
While Bangladesh will start the series as favourites, after they drubbed Australia earlier, Latham insisted that the visitors would look to enjoy themselves and stick to their brand of cricket.
"It is pretty easy to motivate yourself when playing for the country. I personally haven't had a lot of opportunities in T20s, so it is exciting. Even for the other guys. Most of the guys have played T20s for New Zealand but probably not as much as they would like to. We have to enjoy ourselves out there and stick to a brand of cricket that we believe can be successful in these conditions. Our goal is to win the series,” Latham said.
Against Australia, Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman was a constant threat in the series, picking up seven wickets, averaging 8.57 with the ball. Latham stated that he is aware of the threat posed by the left-arm pacer and added that he is looking forward to the challenge.
"Mustafiz at the top of the innings, is renowned for his slower ball. We saw how he bowled against Australia. The spinners at the top and through the middle will present the challenges. We are looking forward to facing them tomorrow."
Latham also reckoned that this series is an opportunity for the fringe players to showcase their talent but it would not directly affect the World T20 selection, after New Zealand named their squad earlier.
"Obviously I haven't played for a long time. The way the world is at the moment, what NZC is doing for player welfare, it has presented an opportunity for a lot of the guys including myself. We know things won't be easy over here looking at the Australia series.
“From a leadership point of view, you are always looking to grow and improve. This format presents another opportunity. I have had captaincy experience in the past. This is a slightly younger group," he concluded.