Blundell, Taylor in Kiwi ODI squad for Australia series

Wellington, Jan 21 (IANS) Rookie wicket-keeper Tom Blundell and veteran batsman Ross Taylor are the notable inclusions in the New Zealand One-day International (ODI) squad for the Chappell-Hadlee series against Australia later this month.

Blundell was picked in place of injured Luke Ronchi while Taylor replaced Jeetan Patel, who was picked for the third ODI against Bangladesh.

All-rounder Corey Anderson, who is recovering from back issues, has also been left out of the squad for his inability to bowl.

Blundell made his international debut in the third T20I against Bangladesh but did not get to bat in that match.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) selector Gavin Larsen said the inclusion of Blundell will add to the wicket-keeping options in the side with opener Tom Latham also being a handy glovesman.

“It’s hard to replace the experience that Luke brings, but it’s good Tom Blundell got a small taste of the environment during the Twenty20 series against Bangladesh and this will be another opportunity for him in the squad,” Larsen was quoted as saying by NZC website.

“Having Tom Latham as an option gives the squad flexibility and allows us the chance to play an extra bowling option,” he added.

Apart from Ronchi, injuries ruled out Ben Wheeler, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan and Doug Bracewell.

The first ODI is in Auckland on January 30.

New Zealand squad for first two ODIs against Australia: Kane Williamson (Captain), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.