Hamilton, Feb 4 (IANS) New Zealand missing the services of skipper Kane Williamson in the first two ODIs against India is a big blow, but stand-in captain Tom Latham believes that it is almost similar to India missing their limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma.

“It is disappointing to lose people like Kane…But again it presents an opportunity to someone else to come in and stake a claim. Fingers crossed, he (Williamson) will back as soon as possible.

“(With Rohit) it is similar to Kane situation. He is a massive player for India. But again, it presents an opportunity to someone else. We know what depth Indian cricket has and we are certainly not going to take them lightly,” he said.

For Latham, it is more important that the boys focus in the present and turn the tide after a 0-5 hammering in the T20I series.

“The T20 results were disappointing. (But) It is nice that a slightly new group has come in for this one-day team, a few new faces and a different format. So it is important that we don’t try and reinvent the wheel to try and change our style of play…Obviously it is hard but as I said there is a new group now. Fresh faces in a different format, which will pose challenges in a different way. So, fingers crossed and we can switch into One-day mode and start getting those results,” he pointed.

Commenting further on the new faces, Latham said: “As I have said earlier, it is a different format, which is probably refreshing for the guys. There are new faces, who were not involved in the T20 series. We have been in those positions in the T20 series to win the game. Now we can start winning and going across the line. Winning can be a habit. Unfortunately we have been on the wrong side of those results, which has been disappointing.”

This will be New Zealand’s first ODI since the heartbreaking loss in the final of the 2019 World Cup and Latham said it was time to bounce back.

“We had guys who sat and watched it (the World Cup final) over again. It was an experience for us where we didn’t quite come out on the right side. But you know it was an unbelievable game,” he said.

“…now for us it is important that we refocus on the job in hand. We have played India a lot over the last couple of years. So, there shouldn’t be too many surprises…for us it is about trying to focus on the series rather than looking back to that World Cup game.”




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