New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match ODI series against Pakistan with a left-quad strain, which he sustained during the recently concluded T20I series against Bangladesh. All-rounder Daryl Mitchell has been named as his replacement.
Tom Blundell has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match ODI series against Pakistan, with a left-quad strain which he had sustained during the fourth of the five T20Is against Bangladesh recently. The wicketkeeper-batsman could manage just 42 runs from four innings in the series, including a match-winning 30* in the third T20I.
"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," said Nishil Shah, the New Zealand team physio.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Daryl Mitchell has been roped in as Blundell’s replacement. Mitchell, who was originally supposed to join the team for the T20 series, will be available only from the second ODI, after he completes a mandatory isolation.
New Zealand coach Glenn Pocknall stated that the team will miss Blundell’s services, but believed that Mitchell will be a good addition, given his all-round skills.
"Obviously everyone is gutted for Tom, he's a quality player with a diverse skill-set,” Pocknall said. “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'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 wicketkeeping 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."
Rawalpindi will host each of the three ODIs between Pakistan and New Zealand, with the first to be played on Friday, September 17.