Kiwis seek Munro firepower at start

Wellington: Power-hitting left hander Colin Munro is likely to open New Zealand’s innings with Martin Guptill on the limited overs tour of India with Tom Latham dropping down the order, coach Mike Hesson said Thursday.

Hesson and nine members of the New Zealand squad left from here for the tour, which starts October 22 and includes three ODIs and three T20I. They will link up with six players from the New Zealand ‘A’ side currently touring India.

Munro, 30, is on the ‘A’ tour and has principally batted in the middle-order in his previous 24 ODIs for New Zealand. While he has an average of just 25.26 batting mostly at five or six in the order, his strike rate of 99.37 should make him a valuable partner for the similarly aggressive Guptill in trying to get New Zealand off to a flying start.

“We need to generate a strike rate at the top of the innings,” Hesson said. “It would be fair to say Martin (Guptill) and Tom (Latham), although they have had some really good performances individually, they haven’t really clicked at the top and certainly haven’t generated a strike-rate as a pair that we would like.”

Hesson also informed that specialist top-order batsman George Worker could also be considered for the role, while hard-hitting wicketkeeper-batsman Glenn Phillips was also a possibility.

The 20-year-old Phillips scored 140 not out in the second one-day match against India ‘A’ in Visakhapatnam two days ago, batting at No.3. Worker and Munro opened the innings.

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