Wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell has been ruled out of the New Zealand series against Pakistan with a left-quad strain. All-rounder, Daryl Mitchell, who was initially joining the side for the T20I series, will now assemble with the ODI squad - becoming available for selection for the second match, once he’s completed mandatory isolation. (More Cricket News)
Blundell sustained the injury in the fourth T20I against Bangladesh and New Zealand physio Nishil Shah explained the injury needed a concentrated period of rehabilitation. “Tom’s been working hard since the injury in Bangladesh,” said Shah.
“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 stand-in head coach Glenn Pocknall said the injury 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,” he added. Pocknall said after consultation with regular coach Gary Stead, it was agreed Mitchell was best suited as a replacement.
“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 back-up 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,” Pocknall said. New Zealand start their ODI series against Pakistan on Friday 17 September.