Our bowlers restricted India to par score with good bowling upfront: Tom Latham

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India’s score of 306 for 7 on a small Eden Park ground was just about par and the credit for that goes to New Zealand bowlers for their display during powerplay and middle overs, centurion Tom Latham said after his team’s easy seven-wicket victory in the opening ODI here on Friday.

Latham smashed 145 not out off 104 balls and shared a 221-run unbroken match-winning stand with skipper Kane Williamson (94 not out) as New Zealand won in 47.1 overs.

“It was a par-score. We did some good stuff with ball at the start and in the middle overs. They had a couple of cameos that got them over 300-run total,” Latham said at the post-match media interaction.

As far as his own form is concerned, he said that it was his day and everything went in his favor.

“It’s one of those days. Whatever shots you play, comes off. I am at my best when I react to the ball rather than pre-meditate. Things fall in place and you are in a zone,” said Latham.

One of the game-changers for the hosts was certainly Latnam’s stand with the skipper.

“Obviously building that stand with Kane was important. The wicket (pitch) had a little bit of turn on offer. I was under pressure and idea was to take the game deep,” he said.

Latham, who doesn’t play international T20s, was in rhythm, thanks to a lot of domestic fixtures that he had been part of.

“Preparation has been nice. The focus was on being in strong positions (footwork wise) and reacting to the ball.” While Williamson didn’t get a hundred, Latham said the skipper never cared about milestones.

“We (him and Williamson) feed off each other. We all know Kane and he is not (the one who cares) about milestones.” Latham, who has earlier scored an ODI hundred against India in 2017 at the Wankhede Stadium, said even when he was on 99, he had the bigger picture in mind.

“Bigger picture for me was the game situation and once I got the hundred, we still had a decent time to bat and I was trying to get the team across the line.” As far as debutant fast bowler Umran Malik was concerned, Latham found him to be quick but with a couple of former Sunrisers Hyderabad player in their ranks, they had a plan in place for the youngster.

“Yes, he (Umran) was pretty quick. Obviously, everyone was saying that throughout the IPL. Kane and Glenn (Phillips) have seen him at SRH so we had little bit of information,” he stated.