New Zealand bring in Taylor, Blundell for deciding T20


New Zealand have brought in Ross Taylor and Wellington wicketkeeper Tom Blundell in place of Colin Munro and Glenn Phillips, respectively, for the deciding T20 against Pakistan on Sunday. While Munro was unavailable with a mild hamstring strain in his right leg, Phillips was released from the squad to feature in the domestic 50-over tournament, the Ford Trophy.

Selector Gavin Larsen said the long-term prognosis for Munro’s injury wasn’t bad, but they wanted to make sure he got rest ahead of a busy schedule.

“Colin picked up a minor injury during the match at Eden Park and with a busy schedule coming up, we want to make sure he gets it right before getting back on the field,” Larsen said. “We’ll assess Colin ahead of Monday when we announce the squad to go to Australia and at this stage we are optimistic he’ll be available.

“It’s a luxury to be able to bring someone of Ross’s experience into the squad as his replacement.”

Munro has been in terrific form but Phillips had scores of 3 and 5 in the first two T20s against Pakistan, and had collected a total of 73 runs in the three T20Is against West Indies recently. Coach Mike Hesson said they wanted Phillips to “evolve” his game in the domestic circuit.

“After discussion with Glenn, we felt he’d benefit from going back and continuing to evolve his game with Auckland,” Hesson said. “Glenn has a big future, but at this point in time we both think continuing to get experience on the domestic scene is the right move.

“Tom’s ability to slot into the middle-order made him the right choice to come into the squad. Looking beyond Sunday’s game, we have a top three who are very set, so it’s important Tom can come into that middle-order and do a role for us.”

The ongoing T20 series is level 1-1 after New Zealand blanked Pakistan 5-0 in the ODIs and won the first T20 too. Pakistan fought back with a convincing 48-run win in the second T20 in Auckland. The final T20 will be played in Mount Maunganui on January 28.



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