Blackcaps are on their way to a huge first-innings total against Bangladesh in Christchurch, and they have done it by doing what works the best for them: stick to their basics and forcing the bowlers to bowl at them. According to batting coach Luke Ronchi, the trio of Tom Latham, Will Young and Devon Conway left the ball well early in their respective innings, which tested the patience of Bangladesh bowlers. They lost Young for 54, but rode on Latham’s unbeaten 186 and Conway’s 99 not out to end the first day on 349 for 1.
The plan to take on Mehidy was well executed, as the offspinner had none for 95 from his 25 overs, having conceded nine fours and a six. It was particularly important for Latham to get a big total for himself following his failures in Mount Maunganui. This was Latham’s first hundred as a Test captain too, and one that came in a must-win situation, after he had lost the toss. With 186 against his name, and New Zealand likely to look to bat Bangladesh out of the game, Latham could well have a really big score waiting against his name.
Ronchi heaps praise on his batters for doing the basics right
“A massive part of it was to do the basics well and right for a long period of time,” Ronchi said. “We did it quite well at the Mount [Maunganui] but we let ourselves down in periods that brought Bangladesh back into the game. We did it for the whole day today. The guys were amazing.
“We also put pressure on to their spin bowling. In the last game, we let them bowl a bit too much. Today, there was a bit of emphasis on putting him [Mehidy Hasan Miraz] under pressure so that they bring on the quick bowlers back a bit more. It worked quite nicely for us today.”
“Leading into the series, his mindset has been amazing. We had some work between Tests. What we saw today was amazing,” Ronchi said. “You will get a bit of luck on green surfaces but also you have make the most of it. Some of his drives, the sound it made off the bat was awesome. It was a fantastic day for both Tom, Devon and Young.
“I have seen some amazing innings from him [Latham] in all formats. He has the temperament and confidence through the work he puts in between Tests. His numbers as a New Zealand opener is fantastic. He is a good leader in the group.”