Colin Munro, George Worker to open for Blackcaps in India as Tom Latham demoted

Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson confirms Tom Latham will be shifted down the batting order for their upcoming tour of India.

The Blackcaps will play two warm-up matches before facing India in three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches ahead of their packed summer schedule.

India is currently ranked No.1 in ODI, while the Blackcaps are ranked No.1 in Twenty20.

Speaking to the media at Christchurch airport, Hesson Latham's move is an effort to counter India's spin bowlers, but will also give him a chance to focus on being wicketkeeper following Luke Ronchi's retirement.

"We have made that that pretty clear over the coming months that Tom is pushing his case as somebody who can keep and bat in the middle," said Hesson.

"His ability against spin will be critical for that. Tom was the best-performing batsman 12 months ago in India in those spin-friendly conditions, so he brings those qualities."

Tom Latham behind the wickets against South Africa.
Tom Latham behind the wickets against South Africa. Photo credit: Photosport

With Latham moving down the order, Hesson said Colin Munro or George Worker will replace the 25-year-old as the opening batsmen to partner Martin Guptill.

"We are looking at the two guys who are doing it at the moment. Colin Munro and George Worker are two guys who certainly have some good qualities to create a good strike rate at the top of the order."    

Latham said he has previously played lower down the order before and is looking forward to the challenge of moving back after spending time as an opener.

"It is a little bit of a different change in terms of where I have been batting," said Latham.

"I did a little bit of keeping last year and it was something I enjoyed so it is going to be a new challenge and something I am looking forward too.

"I started off in the middle order playing for New Zealand so I have done it before for a few years when I first started.

"It is certainly a role which I am familiar with, I just haven't done it for a while and we have a couple of warm-up games."  

Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson.
Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson. Photo credit: Photosport

Meanwhile, Hesson said the Blackcaps must adapt to the Indian conditions quickly if they are to claim a rare series win in India.

India recently beat Australia 4-1 in a five-game ODI series and their Twenty20 series is heading to a deciding third match.

"Their record at home has been phenomenal over the last three years," said Hesson.

"We know going over there you have to perform otherwise you get a very tough lesson, so important for us to adapt very quickly.

"You have to play slightly differently than you do at home. Everywhere you have to go you have to adapt but more-so in India. The conditions are very different depending on the grounds you go to.

"They are very well balanced side so we will do all our scouting on them but the key for us is adapting quickly."