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Tom Latham
World Test Championship

Latham to lead New Zealand with Williamson on paternity leave

New Zealand news

Tom Latham, who has captained New Zealand in one Test previously, will take the reins for the Wellington match against West Indies as Kane Williamson heads home for the birth of his child.

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New Zealand's hunt for crucial ICC World Test Championship points will proceed under the leadership of Latham, who made his captaincy debut earlier this year in the Sydney Test against Australia.

The hosts, ranked No.2 in the world, won the first game in Hamilton convincingly and will be confident of putting on another strong show against West Indies, who are placed eighth in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, in the second Test starting Friday, 11 December.

Importantly, a win will see New Zealand edge past England in the World Test Championship points table and boost their chances of making the inuaugural final of the event.

Williamson, who was his team's top run-scorer in the first Test of the series with a career-best 251, will head home to Tauraunga for the birth of his first child.

"I guess it's the best decision for him [Williamson] and Sarah, and also for our team in the long term in terms of him being in a good place as well," said New Zealand coach Gary Stead on Thursday.

After the conclusion of the series against West Indies, New Zealand are scheduled to play Pakistan in three T20Is from 18-22 December followed by a two-Test series, which gets underway on 26 December. It is unclear as to when Williamson will be available for selection again.

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