New Zealand stand-in skipper Tom Latham has not written off his team’s chances of claiming back-to-back World Test Championships (WTC) despite defeat in the second Test to South Africa leaving the Black Caps’ defence on shaky ground.
Held to 1-1 home series draws by South Africa and Bangladesh after losing 1-0 away to India in late-2021, New Zealand are languishing at sixth on the WTC table ahead of a tour to England.
Latham said his team believed “100%” they could still make next year’s WTC final and would look to sweep England in the three-Test series starting in June.
“Obviously we set out with with the ambitions of winning every Test match you play, especially at home,” he told reporters after the 198-run loss to the Proteas at Hagley Oval. .
“For us, I guess, when we get to England in a few months’ time, it’s obviously important that we shift our focus to that and try our best to win that series over there and get as many points as we can.”

Having handed South Africa their second-worst Test defeat in the first Christchurch clash, New Zealand missed a golden opportunity to win their first Test series against the South Africans and end a winless streak dating back to 1931/32.
The Black Caps will hope regular captain Kane Williamson, their best batsman, can fully recover from the elbow injury that has plagued him for over a year.
Latham, whose opening combination with Will Young produced a total of four runs in the second Test, said his side’s failure to build partnerships was a major factor in the defeat.
However, he declined to blame his batsmen for poor shot selection on day five after wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme were out hitting lofted pull-shots to fielders, effectively ending their hopes of saving the match.

“Guys have their own ways that they like to go about things,” said Latham. “I guess it’s a fine balance of being able to put them under a little bit of pressure to get fielders out of spots that you want.
“Unfortunately things didn’t go quite so well for us.”


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