Latham given McMillan backing

19 March 2017 07:56:24 EST

New Zealand opener Tom Latham has been backed to return to top form in the near future, having struggled in the opening two Tests against South Africa.

The 24-year-old left-hander has made 10, 8 and 6 in his three innings against the Proteas, who lead 1-0 in the three-match series, with the final Test scheduled to start in Hamilton next weekend.

We need to get him back to making good decisions and everything else will flow from there.

Tom Latham

However, Black Caps batting coach Craig McMillan says that Latham's past record suggests that his struggles will not last too much longer.

He told reporters: "Tom's obviously going through a tough patch, but we know what a quality player he is and has been for a number of years.

"He's got six Test hundreds and bats in perhaps the toughest position in the order, and has done well for a long period for us.

"It's about him getting back to basics. We need to get him back to making good decisions and everything else will flow from there."

Latham has played in 31 Test matches to date, scoring 2,164 runs at an average of 38.64, having reached three figures on six occasions.

His last century came in January, when he made a career-best 177 against Bangladesh in Wellington.

Latham has also struggled badly for form in one-day internationals in recent times, failing to reach double figures in any of his last six innings - being dismissed without scoring in three of those knocks.

Meanwhile, New Zealand can be backed at 6/1 to win the 2019 World Cup in England, with South Africa priced at 4/1 and Australia 3/1.

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