NZ vs PAK: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed on Thursday that wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell has been ruled out of the three-match ODI series against Pakistan owing to a left-quad strain. The board has named all-rounder Daryl Mitchell as his replacement for Blundell.
Blundell sustained the injury during the fourth T20I against Bangladesh. Black Caps physio Nishil Shah said that the wicket-keeper’s injury will require a concentrated period of rehabilitation.
“Tom’s been working hard since the injury in Bangladesh,” said Shah.
Mitchell was initially slated to join the squad for the T20I series following the completion of the ODI series. However, with Blundell now ruled out, he would be joining the squad for the second ODI after completing his mandatory quarantine period.
“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.”
New Zealand Coach Glenn Pocknall expressed his worries over Blundell’s injury and said it comes as a blow ahead of the ODI series.
“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.”
“We’re fortunate to have someone of Daryl’s quality to join us early for the ODIs,” he said.
“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 and we’ll ensure they do the necessary work at training to be up to speed if called upon.”
NZ vs PAK 2021 Series Fixtures
September 17: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 1st ODI, 2.30PM
September 19: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 2nd ODI, 2.30PM
September 21: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI, 2.30PM
September 25: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 1st T20, 6.30PM
September 26: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 2nd T20, 6.30PM
September 29: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd T20, 6.30PM
October 1: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 4th T20, 6.30PM
October 3: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th T20, 6.30PM
New Zealand Squad
Tom Latham (c, wk), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Finn Allen, Rachin Ravindra, Blair Tickner, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Will Young