Rawalpindi: New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell on Thursday was ruled out of the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan with a left-quad strain.
All-rounder Daryl Mitchell, who was originally set to join the team for the T20I series will now replace Blundell in the ODI series and will be available from the 2nd ODI, once he has completed mandatory isolation.
The 31-year old Blundell had sustained the injury in the 4th T20I of the recently concluded Bangladesh series.
Black Caps physio Nishil Shah explained that the injury needed a concentrated period of rehabilitation.” Tom’s been working hard since the injury in Bangladesh,” said Shah in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kiwi coach Glen Pocknail 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,” said Pocknail.
Pocknail also mentioned that after consultation with regular New Zealand coach, Gary Stead, it was agreed Daryl 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’s shown last summer what a destructive batsman he is, while also offering another useful bowling option,” he said.
”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,” he added.
New Zealand will begin their Pakistan tour with the 1st ODI on Friday in Rawalpindi.