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New Zealand have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the third Twenty20 International against Pakistan as they will be without the services of big-hitting opening batsman Colin Munro.
Munro will miss the series decider after sustaining a minor hamstring injury during his side’s 48-run loss in the second Twenty20 International in Auckland.
Munro will be assessed prior to New Zealand naming their squad that will travel to Sydney for the opening game of the T20 tri-series, which also involves Australia and England.
With Munro out, New Zealand have called up veteran batsman Ross Taylor.
“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,” national selector Gavin 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.”
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell has also been drafted into the side at the expense of Glenn Phillips, who made scores of three and five in the first two Twenty20 Internationals.
Given that he has struggled to have a major impact with the bat, he has been released from the squad in order to represent Auckland in the Ford Trophy, which is New Zealand’s domestic one-day competition.
“After discussion with Glenn, we felt he’d benefit from going back and continuing to evolve his game with Auckland,” New Zealand head coach Mike 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 third Twenty20 International between New Zealand and Pakistan will take place in Mount Maunganui on January 28.