New Zealand’s World Cup squad: Who is uncapped Tom Blundell?
Tom Blundell made his T20I debut for New Zealand in 2017. © Getty

The Wellington wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell on Wednesday was named in New Zealand‘s 15-man squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup despite not having played an ODI.

The Black Caps coach Gary Stead said of Blundell’s inclusion: “If there was an injury to Tom Latham, he would fit directly into the role we saw there and then could bat in that position as well.” (READ: New Zealand pick Tom Blundell, Ish Sodhi for World Cup)

Blundell, 28, has not played ODIs for New Zealand and has found his way into the World Cup squad on the basis of his wicketkeeping skills and an injury to Tim Seifert, who kept wickets in limited-overs games for the Black Caps this year when Tom Latham was rested.

Seifert had been picked in New Zealand’s ODI and T20I squads and smashed a match-winning 84 against India in a T20I victory, but has been sidelined with injury.

This has given Blundell a chance in New Zealand’s World Cup squad, despite the fact that since February 2018 he has played a solitary List A game – for New Zealand A against Pakistan A. (READ: Gary Stead quashes talk of Kane Williamson arm-twisting in World Cup squad)

His most recent games came in the four-day Plunket Shield. In his last game, Blundell scored 52 and 100 not out in Wellington’s three-wicket loss to Otago.

In this season’s Super Smash – New Zealand’s domestic T20 tournament – he scored 160 runs in eight innings at a strike-rate of 141.59. His eight sixes for Wellington were second best to Michael Bracewell’s 18.

In 40 List A matches, Blundell averages 23.81 with three fifties to go with 37 catches and four stumpings. In T20s, he averages 24.34 and a strike-rate of 124.83.

Blundell scored a century on Test debut against West Indies in December 2017 when Watling was sidelined with a hamstring injury, thus becoming the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to achieve the feat. He played just one more Test and has not been called on since 2017.

In March, Blundell was added to New Zealand’s Test squad as cover for BJ Watling for the Christchurch Test, which was called off after the terror attacks on mosques.