How Numbers Lie – Tom Latham And The Stats That Don’t Add Up

Tom Latham of New Zealand excels at Test cricket. The left-hander, who made his debut in 2014, has been a constant part of the Kiwis' top order for almost ten years. Tom's textbook technique and methodical approach have served him well in a decade where seam bowling has reigned. In his 70 tests, he has averaged a solid 41.91, which is not spectacular but notably excellent when you consider the long list of openers England has used over that time.  

Imagine, if you will, that an English bat averaged higher than 40 after nine seasons of play. Praise would be overwhelming and possibly merited. Despite averaging exactly one run less per game than Tom Latham century during his eight years of service, Sir Andrew Strauss is regarded as a Three Lions great.

Crown Of The World Test Championship

His best moment occurred in 2018. Tom Latham destroyed a worn-out Sri Lankan attack while batting for an incredible 694 minutes en route to his first double ton. 489 balls resulted in 246 runs, including a few powerful smashes off both the front and back foot. He also has trophies to his name after helping New Zealand defeat India at the Rose Bowl 19 months ago to win the maiden World Test Championship title.

However, nothing is exactly as it seems. Tom Latham, a stalwart from New Zealand and a season international pro, is a statistical outlier.

Despite all of his runs and appearances, the 30-year-old has a dismal record in Test matches against the "top" nations. Tom Latham match has scored 1,665 runs at an average of 28.85 from his 35 Test matches against England, India, Australia, and South Africa. Almost two fewer than England reject Rory Burns, and only slightly better than Ravichandran Ashwin's part-time biff.

Test-playing Nations' Records That Tom Latham Has Versus Others

His performance in contrast to the other five Test-playing nations (apart from Ireland and Afghanistan) is exceptional. Tom Latham has scored twelve of his thirteen Test tons against Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and the West Indies. Having played 35 more Tests, he averages an astounding 58.89 against these "other five."

Tom Latham is a terrible test player against the top teams but a reliable run machine against the rest.

Latham and Mark Ramprakash, a former England bat, may share a similar style. In his 25 years of first-class cricket, "Ramps" amassed nearly 36,000 runs at an average of 53.14, but he only achieved a sombre 2,350 runs at a 27.32 average during his Test career. Ramprakash was a world-beater against subpar bowling, and his strongest quality was his capacity to win against weaker competition. This appears to be the case for Tom Latham debut match as well, who takes chances when the going is good but finds it a little more difficult when up against

The other five countries, in contrast, have infrequently had an XI with even one bowler averaging under 30, much less two or even three. In the past ten years, neither Zimbabwe nor Bangladesh have produced a single bowler whose average has been regularly under 30. 

The powerful seam bowling of Jason Holder and Kemar Roach, who both average under thirty, is a strength of the West Indian attack. Naturally, Tom Latham century hasn't practised against any of the "other five" teams except for the Windies.

What role does Tom Latham play in the New Zealand cricket team?
Tom Latham has played a variety of positions for New Zealand cricket, including opening the batting in Test and ODI matches. In other formats, he has also acted as the team's wicketkeeper, and he is noted for his flexibility.
When did Tom Latham make his international debut?
Tom Latham made his international debut for New Zealand in a T20I match against England on June 23, 2012.