Tom Blundell to open for New Zealand in Boxing Day test

December 22, 2019 GMT

Tom Blundell, who scored a century on test debut and has played only one test since, will open the batting for New Zealand in the prestigious Boxing Day test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Blundell, a wicketkeeper in domestic cricket who won’t keep wicket for New Zealand, scored 107 not out on debut against the West Indies in December, 2017 but hasn’t since been able to force his way back into the New Zealand team.

He batted at No. 8 in that match at the Basin Reserve but will open the batting in the Boxing Day test as New Zealand is forced to address the loss of form of regular opener Jeet Raval.

Raval made only 1 in both innings of the first test at Perth which Australia won by 296 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. After his previous failure in the recent series against England in New Zealand he left the Black Caps selectors no choice but to seek an alternative.

Blundell became the preferred replacement when he scored 59 from 70 balls Sunday in New Zealand’s warm-up match against a Victoria XI.

“I feel like I can do a good job wherever,” Blundell said. This game I’ve been given the opportunity to open, so I’m really looking forward to Boxing Day.”

“I’ll probably try to still bat the same (as down the order). It’s just the first 30 balls I’ll just have to be a bit more patient outside the off stump and if I can last those 30 balls then hopefully I can bat a bit more positively.”


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports