It's not uncommon for players who open the batting in one-day cricket to bat in the middle order in Test cricket. It is somewhat unusual however for someone who opens the batting in Test cricket to bat in the middle order in ODIs. Tom Latham is one of those unusual few.
Part of that is due to the fact that he's a wicketkeeper and finds opening the batting after keeping difficult. Part of it is also to do with the fact that he scores quickly against spinners but has a good defensive technique against quick bowlers. That's ideal for an opening batsman in Tests but also lends itself to playing in the middle overs of One Day Internationals.
His father Rod is a New Zealand cricket folk hero, for both being the man at the other end when Mark Greatbatch became the first attacking opening batsman one-day cricket had seen and also for being part of the famous dibbly, dobbly, wibbly, wobbly bowling attack in 1992/93. Tom, however, is fashioning a record to be a genuine star, not just for novelty value.
He tends to score on the pitches where the rest of the team don't score so well. The slower the pitch, the lower the bounce, the more it suits Latham. While Guptill, Williamson and Taylor tend to struggle when it keeps low, Latham thrives. As a result, he is a very valuable part of the batting unit because he helps bring some consistency.
He is also frighteningly quick between the wickets, something his batting partners seem to enjoy.
As a wicketkeeper, he is capable, although perhaps not as sharp with his footwork as would be ideal.
He was one of the unlucky players who was in the squad but didn't get to play a game in the last World Cup. Accordingly, he will be looking to break his duck this time around.
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