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Tom Blundell

Blundell to miss Pakistan ODIs, Mitchell joins squad

New Zealand news

A quad-strain has ruled out wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell from the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan.

Blundell pulled up during the fourth T20I against Bangladesh with the injury, which New Zealand lost by six wickets.

All-rounder Daryl Mitchell, who was to join the side for the T20I leg of the Pakistan tour, will now join the group and be available from the second match of the series onwards, once he's completed mandatory isolation.

Caretaker Blackcaps coach Glenn Pocknall says the injury is a blow in the teams aspirations of winning the 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.”

Pocknell is in contact with regular coach Gary Stead, with the pair in agreement that Mitchell's experience meant he was the best replacement, in spite of not being a like-for-like change.

“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."

New Zealand have a number of players to take up duties with the gloves, most notably Tom Latham, who enjoyed a successful T20I series in Bangladesh with the bat.

“With Tom (Blundell) 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.”

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