Wizards captain Tom Latham follows father

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:00 16/12/2012

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Canterbury has a new first-class cricket captain - and for Tom Latham, it is going to be a case of "like father, like son".

Starting today at Eden Park Outer Oval, Canterbury will take on Auckland in the two sides' final Plunket Shield clash of 2012.

Latham, just 20, will be the man pointing the men in the red and black caps around the park, as his side look to notch up their second four-day win of the season.

Latham's father Rod - who played four tests and 33 one-dayers for New Zealand between 1992 and 1994 - was the side's skipper in the late 1980s.

Canterbury coach Gary Stead, who made the younger Latham the new skipper in the absence of Peter Fulton (international duty) and Andy Ellis (injury), believes Tom's style will be a lot different to that of father Rod - Stead's Canterbury team-mate.

Stead said Tom was a young player, but mature "and we think is a thing for the future. He will certainly be a future option down the track. Rod was a hard-nosed guy when he played. Tom has his own style.

"Tom's a pretty quiet guy but he is astute with his thinking, and he'll add something to our team."

Canterbury will welcome back leg spinner Todd Astle into the team for their game against Auckland, with some critics arguing he was unlucky not to make the New Zealand side to play two tests against South Africa.

Stead agrees Astle was unlucky, but said he was certain to get another chance at international level.

"In his first test, he took a key wicket and he batted well. I guess they'll be looking for him to be just a little bit more consistent in his bowling."

Canterbury have just one win in their four Plunket Shield clashes so far this year, but Stead believes his side has been playing good cricket - and will be eager to notch a win against their traditional rivals.

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- Sunday Star Times

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