Calcutta: Head coach Mike Hesson said that power-hitting batsman Colin Munro is likely to open with Martin Guptill during New Zealand’s limited-overs tour of India, which starts next month.
Munro opening the innings means Tom Latham will drop down to the middle order, while Hesson also hinted that Latham could double up as a wicketkeeper too.
Promoting Munro up the order will help in giving the team flying starts, Hesson emphasised.
“We need more aggression upfront… Need to generate a strike-rate at the top of the innings,” Hesson said in Christchurch on Thursday.
“It would be fair to say Martin and Tom, although they have had some really good performances individually, haven’t really clicked as a pair at the top and certainly haven’t generated a strike-rate that we would like.”
Hesson added that specialist top-order batsman George Worker could also be considered for the second opener’s position role, while hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Glenn Phillips was also a possibility. The 20-year-old Phillips scored 140 not out in the second one-day match against India A in Visakhapatnam two days ago, batting at number three, while Worker and Munro opened the innings.
New Zealand have been looking for an ideal wicketkeeper-batsman in the shorter version after Luke Ronchi retired from international cricket earlier this year.
Latham, who was a wicketkeeper for much of his career before becoming a Test opening batsman, took the gloves earlier this year in limited-overs matches but scored just nine runs in five innings at the top of the order. Hesson, however, said the 25-year-old was still a possibility for the job, even with Phillips and Tom Blundell and the uncapped Tim Siefert on A tour.
“Tom is very much a possibility,” Hesson said. “We have got three others on the New Zealand A tour there (in India), so we will have a look at them and make a decision over the next few days.”