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Blundell in NZ squad to face Australia

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/01/2017
Tom Blundell © Anthony Au-Yeung / Getty Images Tom Blundell

Rising wicketkeeper Tom Blundell is poised to make his New Zealand one-day international debut against Australia after being named in the squad to contest the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series.

Blundell replaces an injured Luke Ronchi in the 14-strong squad for the first two games of the three-match series in Auckland (January 30) and Napier (February 2).

Blundell, 26, made his international debut in this month's third Twenty20 against Bangladesh following impressive form for Wellington. He wasn't required to bat but was solid behind the stumps in the field.

New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen says Blundell and opener Tom Latham will both be considered to wear the gloves. Latham is a former gloveman at domestic level and has toured as a Black Caps back-up wicketkeeper.

"Having Tom Latham as an option gives the squad flexibility and allows us the chance to play an extra bowling option," Larsen said.

Tom Latham © Marty Melville / AFP Tom Latham

"He's done it before for us, but we'll look to give Tom an opportunity to have a game with the gloves in the Ford Trophy (one-day competition) before the opening match."

Ross Taylor returns, having missed the 3-0 thrashing from Australia in December while he recovered from eye surgery. He effectively replaces Henry Nicholls.

Another batsman not involved in the Australian series was Neil Broom, who impressed in his international recall against Bangladesh before fracturing a finger.

Larsen says Broom and world class opener Martin Guptill (hamstring) have both recovered from injuries which sidelined them from the Bangladesh T20 series.

"We have a number of options to consider in the middle order and having Ross and Neil in there gives the batting line-up a much more experienced look to it than the squad which toured Australia," Larsen said.

"Australia have shown how dangerous they are, but with the Chappell-Hadlee trophy on the line at home, we know we have an exciting opportunity."

Ronchi (groin) joined a list of players not considered for the series, along with seamers Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Doug Bracewell and Ben Wheeler. Allrounder Corey Anderson also doesn't feature after he was considered as a batsman only.

BLACK CAPS: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Blundell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson.

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