The BLACKCAPS will hand debuts to Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham in the second ANZ Test at the Basin Reserve starting tomorrow, 14 February 2014.
The impending birth of Ross Taylor's second child means he is replaced by Tom Latham in the starting line-up in a straight swap at number four said Skipper Brendon McCullum. "Tom's earned the right to be the next batsman with his performances in domestic cricket. While it's a big loss to lose a guy like Ross in the form he's in, we're confident Tom will do a good job for us.
"With this wicket, the best method of attack against this Indian side is another seamer, so Jimmy Neesham comes in for Ish Sodhi," said McCullum.
Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham's Test cap announcement at training.
He expects the pitch to be juicier, greener and harder than the surface for the West Indies second Test in December, but is hopeful for swing-friendly conditions. "What helped us most was the ability to swing the ball through the air, so we're hoping for some still days. We'll keep an eye on the forecast and obviously that will be a key attacking weapon for us.
"We'll obviously look to have a bowl if we win the toss, but even if we bat, we'll still have some firepower with Jimmy Neesham at eight. We've been in some precarious positions batting first this summer and still managed to come through those pretty well. We just need to make sure we put together a competitive total," said McCullum.
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THAT Basin Reserve pitch - still fairly green (!) the day before.
Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum mess around at training.
BLACKCAPS coach Mike Hesson at training today.