New Zealand’s wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell has been ruled out of the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan. The Kiwi sustained a left quad strain during the fourth T20I against Bangladesh. All-rounder Daryl Mitchell will replace him in the squad after completing his isolation period.
The Kiwis have a jam-packed schedule for the upcoming season. They did not want to risk aggravating Blundell’s injury. Therefore, Black Caps physio Nishil Shah consulted with the team and took the decision.
“Tom’s been working hard since the injury in Bangladesh. The injury’s not quite where we want it so we think it’s best for him to concentrate on his rehab given the big summer of cricket ahead,” Shah said.
“Obviously everyone is gutted for Tom. He’s a quality player with a diverse skill-set. He’ll remain with the squad and we’re hopeful he’ll be available again for the T20I series,” Kiwi’s temporary coach Glenn Pocknall added.
Daryl Mitchell Brought In Early Owing To Tom Blundell’s Injury
The 30-year-old Daryl Mitchell was included in the squad only for the T20I series. However, his services have been summoned earlier than expected after Tom Blundell couldn’t recover in time. Pocknall was in agreement with regular New Zealand coach, Gary Stead, about bringing in Mitchell.
“We’re fortunate to have someone of Daryl’s quality to join us early for the ODIs. He’s shown last summer what a destructive batsman he is, while also offering another useful bowling option.”
“With Tom out, we do lose our first choice backup wicket-keeping option. However, there are several guys in the squad with keeping experience. We’ll ensure they do the necessary work at training to be up to speed if called upon,” Pocknall said.
The Kiwis begin their tour of Pakistan with the ODI series starting on September 17, Friday. The 5-match T20I series commences on September 25. It will serve as preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup. It is also New Zealand’s first tour of Pakistan in 18 years.