New Zealand skipper Tom Latham

Hamilton [New Zealand], Feb 4 : Ahead of the first ODI against India, Kiwi skipper Tom Latham on Tuesday said that it is disappointing to lose a key player like Kane Williamson for the first two matches of the series.

Williamson has been ruled out of the first two ODIs against India, and in his absence, Latham will be leading the side. Mark Chapman has been named as Williamson’s replacement.

Williamson is recovering from an inflamed AC joint niggle in his left shoulder. He was injured during the third T20I last week and missed the remaining two matches. Tim Southee led New Zealand in his absence.

“It’s disappointing to lose a member like Williamson. But it presents an opportunity to someone to grab his opportunity. Hopefully, he gets his shoulder right and comes back into the side as soon as possible,” Latham told reporters ahead of the first ODI.

“I would look to the stick to the plans which are there in place. Fingers crossed, we can play a brand of cricket that we have always played with,” he added.

India defeated New Zealand 5-0 in the recently concluded T20I series. Latham said that the ODI lineup has some new faces so it would be nice to see how the team faces up to the challenge of playing a quality Indian side.

“The results were disappointing for the T20I side but it’s nice that we have a slightly new group for the ODIs. It is important to not change our plans entirely, we have played good ODI cricket in the past, it is important to stick to our guns,” Latham said.

“Winning can be a habit, unfortunately, we have been on the wrong side of the results. I guess the beauty is that we have put ourselves in a position from where we can win the match. Hopefully, if we get a chance to win the game, we would look to grab the opportunity,” he added.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named Mayank Agarwal as a replacement for the injured Rohit Sharma for the ODI series.

Sharma had injured his calf during the final T20I against New Zealand on Sunday and has been ruled out of both ODI and Test series.

“Rohit is a massive player for India. We know depth the Indian side has. We are not taking them lightly, we will do required research on whoever the replacement is for Rohit,” Latham said.

New Zealand had managed to reach the finals of the 2019 World Cup. However, the side was denied their first World Cup win after coming up short in the number of boundaries scored.

The normal 50-over action and Super Over action ended as a tie, and in the end, England lifted the trophy as they had scored more boundaries in the match.

“It is probably up to individuals whether they have watched the replays of the World Cup final. It was an unbelievable campaign for us, we had a good time in England. It was a long time ago now, it is important we focus on the job at hand. Series against India has always been great,” Latham said.

New Zealand and India will take on each other in the first ODI on Wednesday.


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