We do have batting depth, yes, agree. But at this level?
Yeah I take your point. But I think with Raval, williamson, taylor and watling we have four batsmen who can stick around, if you chuck Munro in there who AVGs 50 at 1st class and maybe Guptil, at 5, then Neesham. I think we have a solid platform with two batsmen who can up the strike rate (Guptil/Munro and Neesham).
I think its just a case of shuffling the players around to what we need from them, clearly Guptil is not a blocker and doesnt suit the Test game and nor is Munro for that matter. So we need to find a quality opener and insert one of the quality fast scoring players. If Latham could just spend some time, only a year, back in 1st class, getting his confidence and technique back, i still think hes our best man for the that job.
I also think outside Wagner we have quite a healthy tail of players with fast eyes and hands, especially Southee and Boult, sure they are just sloggers, but a quick 20-30 each makes a big difference, certainly did yesterday haha. The only issue is if we do bring in our only real spinner in Sodhi, we do lose a bit of the tail with him and Wagner at the end. But hey, bowlers are meant to bowl trusting their batsmen will do the job of batting :-)
I think if Nicholls continues on with yesterday while Taylor is out, it might make it hard for Guptil or Munro to make the team once Taylor is back. In fact I could see Nicholls replacing Latham and still fitting in Guptil or Munro at 5.
If it wasnt for Nicholls we would have likely been out for under 100 yesterday, eek.
We definitely need players with intent like guptil and munro, too many blockers and we go nowhere. Thats what made Mccullums captaincy so good, he would put the foot on the throat when needed. I find Williamson plays an old school test mentality, he reminds me of stephen fleming. But Taylor will only be around a couple of seasons, so giving it to him now, makes no sense. Id go with whoever is the most aggresive players from a captaincy mentality and a regular in the team and try them out. We should not have lost that last test, despite Latham and others bad batting, and Latham dropping 140 runs, we should have still one, we just tried to defend too much at times we should have had players all around the bat.