Colin Munro would like to resume from where he left in ODIs    AFP
Colin Munro would like to resume from where he left in ODIs AFP

New Zealand are a side who come up with smart changes and adapt new approaches. Remember how they dropped their main seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult to accommodate three spinners Nathan McCullum, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner in ICC World T20I (2016)? With Luke Ronchi’s retirement after Champions Trophy, the team management was in search of Martin Guptill’s opening partner. Colin Munro, aggressor down the order, was prompted to give full license to the right-hander in the hard-fought ODI series versus India.

While Munro didn’t get off to a good start in his new role in the first two ODIs, he came to his own in the series decider. The left-hander reveals the man behind his success.

From the horse’s mouth

“After the second game… I wouldn’t call it down, but I hadn’t got off to the start I wanted to in terms of opening the batting. So I sent him Brendon (McCullum) a few text messages just asking this thoughts and let him know what I was thinking. He again came out and said, ‘no, you’ve sort of got a good record in T20. (Think of) the way you play at the top of the order in T20s so you can try and commit that same thing in the one-day game.”

McCullum added, “Go out there and express yourself. Give yourself however long it takes, whether it is one ball, two balls or sometimes it could be 3 or 4, the bowlers are bowling well.”

Credit to Latham

“I think obviously you can’t replace (Luke Ronchi) Ronchs overnight in terms of his experience on the field, but Tom Latham has done really really well. To score as many runs in a new role is only good for him. Latham stepped up in his leadership role on the field as well and has done a really good job. And with the bat, you can’t fault him; a hundred to take over the line in that last game, got a start and got a 30-odd in the second.”

Munro adds

“The big challenge for me was just finding a good tempo to bat at. I like to say that I want to go in and try and blast off in the first ten but it’s not always going to be the case, especially when you’re playing against (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) Bhuvi and (Jasprit) Bumrah. They’re probably the best opening bowlers in these conditions going around the world. It’s always a bit hard to start off.

“I thought I did okay in the first game. Second game, not so well but you got to take those. I just try to come out and do my thing. Try to play my way. If it’s good enough on the day, it’s good enough on the day. Personally, I would play aggressively. Sometimes it comes off and you look good, and some days it doesn’t and you don’t look so good.”

‘You fail more than you succeed’

“Just having a chat with the senior players in the team who said just go out and take your Twenty20 game and see how it goes (helped). Luckily for me, it came off. There’s going to be sometimes pressure at the top of the order where you get good balls or sometimes just myself, by throwing my wicket away given the way that I play. For me it’s more a mental shift in terms of taking the good with the bad, especially in this game where you fail a lot more than you succeed. That’s the going to be the biggest change in mindset.”