RAWALPINDI: New Zealand suffered a huge loss on Thursday when it was revealed that wicket-keeper/batsman Tom Blundell would miss the entire ODI series against Pakistan in Rawalpindi due to a left-quad injury.
Batting all-rounder Daryl Mitchell will take Blundell’s place in the ODI squad after completing the mandatory isolation period. Mitchell is already part of the Black Caps’ squad for the five-match T20 International series against Pakistan in Lahore and will be available for the final two one-dayers after completing the mandatory isolation period.
Meanwhile, Blundell sustained the injury during Bangladesh’s fourth T20 match in Dhaka last week. According to Nishil Shah, a physiotherapist from New Zealand, the 31-year-old needed a concentrated time of rehabilitation to fully heal from his injury.
“Tom has been training extremely hard since his injury in Bangladesh,” Shah said in a statement released by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Thursday morning. “Because the injury isn’t quite where we want it to be, we believe it’s better for him to focus on his rehab now, especially with the huge summer of cricket ahead.”
Blundell hasn’t played in an ODI since February 2020, and he’s only played in two ODIs, both against India.
Mitchell, a 30-year-old right-handed batter who also bowls medium-pacers, played his first One-Day International against Bangladesh earlier this year and hit an undefeated century in the last game at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.
Meanwhile, interim New Zealand head coach Glenn Pocknall described Blundell’s absence from the ODI series as a big setback.
Pocknall noted in the NZC media release, “Obviously everyone is disappointed for Tom since he’s a fantastic player with a broad skill-set.” “He’ll stay with the squad, and we’re hoping to have him back for the T20 series.”
Mitchell was chosen as the ideal alternative after conversation with regular New Zealand head coach Gary Stead, according to Pocknall.
He said, “Fortunately, we have someone of Daryl’s calibre to join us early for the ODIs.” “Last summer, he demonstrated his ability as a destructive hitter while also providing another important bowling option.
“With Tom sidelined, we’ll be without our first-choice back-up wicket-keeper. However, there are a few guys in the team who have kept experience, and we’ll make sure they put in the necessary training time in order to be ready if called upon.”