Latham rues missed chances but admits Bangladesh 'certainly outplayed us over five days'

"It's a disappointing performance from day one in the position we were in at lunch time and from then on, we weren't at our best."

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
A dejected Tom Latham leaves the field, New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 1st Test, Mount Maunganui, 5th day, January 5, 2022

"Bangladesh showed exactly how to operate in the first innings"  •  Getty Images

Tom Latham was left to rue two missed opportunities for his side after their eight-wicket loss to Bangladesh in Mount Maunganui. It was a spectacular win for the visitors, but just as unexpected was how the home team, which held a 17-match unbeaten home record before this game, capitulated, second-best in most departments.
"It is obviously a disappointing performance from day one, in the position we were in at lunch time [66 for 1]," Latham said. "From then on, we certainly weren't at our best. Losing six [five] for 70 on day two didn't allow us to get to the 400-450 mark. Bangladesh showed exactly how to operate in the first innings. They put us under pressure. We tried to build partnerships in our second innings but couldn't push the advantage.
"They showed it with the ball today. They were confident. They bowled really well. Full respect to them. They certainly outplayed us throughout the five days."
New Zealand's 328 in the first innings was - before the second-innings 169 - their lowest total against Bangladesh at home, and the bowlers also couldn't raise their game enough to swing the balance.
"[It's fair to wonder] whether we could have attacked the stumps a little bit more earlier on. But the ball was always swinging throughout the innings," Latham said. "We haven't played a lot of cricket here. It is not a huge amount of information, whether we could have gone a little bit straighter earlier.
"They obviously played the short ball really well. They showed us the lengths we needed to bowl. They got enough out of the surface to trouble us."
New Zealand were almost at full-strength, regular captain Kane Williamson the only one missing out. And they chose to leave out Ajaz Patel, their best long-format spinner who recently became only the third bowler in history to complete a ten-wicket haul in an innings, against India in Mumbai.
"It is hard to say [whether Ajaz should have been picked]," Latham said. "We give 100% backing to whoever goes out there in the XI. I thought Rachin (Ravindra) did a great job for us bowling into the wind. From that end, the surface didn't necessarily spin a lot. I guess that's the conversation in the future when we play here."
Latham also brushed aside the notion that New Zealand were weighed down by expectations after becoming world champions.
"We know it is a new two-year cycle. What we did last time was outstanding. It was a pretty special time. The focus has quickly shifted to the two-year cycle here. We started over in India. This is the first Test of our home summer," he said. "We are certainly not resting on [our laurels]. We know we have to turn up and play our brand of cricket. Unfortunately we didn't quite do that.
"We have a chance in a few days to put another good performance on the board."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84