New Zealand
New Zealand

New Zealand vice-captain Tom Latham explains why the team have decided to play with the announced playing XI after the first day of the WTC 2021 finals has been abandoned.

Tom Latham on WTC 2021 finals Squad

The eagerly awaited first day of the season of the match was canceled without even the toss being held here on Friday, which is set to bring the reserve day into the equation.

“Probably, doesn’t change huge amount (selection of playing XI),” Latham said during a virtual press conference when asked if losing the first day will change their approach to team selection.

“Obviously with an extra day we have got up our sleeves, the game can still go on for full five days. I guess, for us, it is about the wait and see and adapt to whatever conditions we face and ready to go when called upon.

Tom Latham
Tom Latham

“We haven’t confirmed the final XI yet, we have to wait and see when we get the chance to look at the wicket. I am sure Kane (Williamson) and (Gary) Stead have a few contingencies planned. We have to wait for the covers to come off and get a chance to play.”

While New Zealand are yet to announce their playing XI, Virat Kohli-led India had named the team for the WTC final on Thursday.

“Obviously both teams can make changes before the toss, so both are in the same position. India have named their XI, obviously, that can change before the toss, so we have to wait and see once we get to that stage of the game,” Latham said.

There was a forecast of rain and thundershowers and heavens opened up last evening with relentless downpour continuing till afternoon. As per ICC playing conditions guidelines for the WTC final, if required the reserve sixth day can now come into effect with six hours of play lost on Day 1 itself.

“It is disappointing, the rain was forecast, unfortunately. It is one of those things that as cricketers we need to adapt, unfortunately, we can’t control, for us, it is about waiting for an opportunity to come.

“There is day 6 as well so there is a bit of extra time that we can use. So wait and see and have a look tomorrow.”

Latham said his team is not looking too far ahead.

“It is hard to predict the game this far out, when you start on day 1, you obviously want to start well and result flow on from the first and second innings,” he said.

“From our point of view, it is about when we get a chance to go out there and execute our plans best as possible and to be in a position to push the game forward.

“But yeah, it is hard to say what a perfect scenario may look like, until both the teams have batted on the surface.”

New Zealand Playing XI

Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult