New Zealand news June 18, 2012

Latham looks to cement spot on Windies tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tom Latham, the New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman, has said that though he has made the ODI and T20 squad for the upcoming Caribbean tour, he will have to compete with the likes of BJ Watling for a role in the side in the future.

Latham, who scored 79 from three innings in his debut ODI series against Zimbabwe earlier this year, said that he hoped to repay the selectors' confidence in him with a solid performance in the Caribbean. "I don't see myself as the number one keeper at the moment," Latham told Reuters, "but it's always good to have to make tours, when they look at the make up of the side, as a backup keeper."

Latham, 20, he wasn't going to focus on becoming a specialist batsman. "I'm definitely keen to keep the wicketkeeping going. It's between me and BJ I think. They (the selectors) have said I'm a keeping option and I will be doing as much as I can to keep that going, because as my dad (former New Zealand batsman Rod Latham) said 'it's just another string to the bow'."

He said that the series against Zimbabwe gave him the confidence to compete on an international stage. "It was pretty exciting," he said. "I know it was only Zimbabwe but it was still international cricket and being around the guys like Brendon (McCullum), who I really looked up to growing up, was pretty cool."

Though Latham was not picked for the series against South Africa, in March, selectors named him in both the T20 and ODI squad for the Caribbean tour in July. "I want to cement myself in the New Zealand side and play as much cricket for them in all three forms. My main goal at the moment is working towards the 2015 World Cup (in Australia and New Zealand)."

New Zealand will play two T20 internationals in Florida, as part of their joint venture with USA Cricket, and will play five ODIs and two Tests on the Caribbean tour which begins on July 5.

Edited by Carlyle Laurie