Kiwis with twin Test fifties in India

Only three New Zealand batters have managed to score two half-centuries in the same test match against India.

Astle, McMillan do it in Ahmedabad

Nathan Astle and Craig McMillan were the first two batters to achieve this feat, both during the Ahmedabad test match between the two teams in 2003.

Tom Latham became only the third New Zealand batter to score two half centuries in the same test match when he did so against India in Kanpur in the first test match of the two match series.

Latham faced a total of 428 balls and batted for an aggregate of 619 minutes — both being the record for the highest number of deliveries faced in a test match and the most minutes spent at the crease in a test match in India by a Kiwi batter.

The Latham way

Here, Tom Latham decodes his template of batting for long periods in test matches in places like India and the UAE.

“As soon as I go outside my game plan, that’s when things seem to go wrong. For me, especially at the Test level, it’s about sticking it out there and spending as much time at the crease as possible. I don’t want to let too much into my secret, but it’s having shots you want to score from certain bowlers. Obviously, as you’ve seen here in India and in the UAE, I love playing the sweep shot. It’s one of my favourite shots and a shot that seems to work really well for me. I wouldn’t say I’ve put a massive focus on it. It’s just a shot that comes naturally to me. I probably find playing that easier than going down the ground.”

“It’s about sticking to your game plan and believing in that plan to work, [even if] you have faced 30 dots. You have to keep calm. What happened the ball before doesn’t matter now. You’ve got to regroup and focus on the next ball. The more times you can do that it means hopefully you can score a lot of runs. I’ve done a little bit of work growing up in certain camps and winter-training groups arranged by New Zealand Cricket, a bit of mental stuff.”

It was because of his technique and patience that Latham missed out on a century by just five runs in New Zealand’s first innings in the Kanpur test match. He then came back to score another fighting half century in the second innings to do his best for the team.

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